Transgenders and their civil rights has been an unfamiliar issue for myself, a blissfully ignorant Christian heterosexual. I believe in their rights as humans but I’ve never taken the time to reflect on what it’s like being transgender in 21st Century America, or familiarize myself with the political issues and freedom’s they desire. So when I found myself in a two stall restroom, next to a transgender woman with the pivotal debate of transgender vs. Restrooms staring me in the face; you can only imagine how taken aback I was.
Not only was I taken aback, but I was scared of being in such a vulnerable setting with what used to be a man; a major concern for the Transgender vs. Restroom debate. Rape, theft and general assault crossed my mind and has been voiced by the many Americans opposed to restroom integration. But, women are capable of equally as horrendous crimes including rape so the sexist assumption that a law-abiding transgender is in the restroom to do anything other than pee, isn’t really valid.
Furthermore, my myopic decision that she is still a man, regardless of her self-identification, is also not withstanding: if someone decides to identify with male or female, Christian or Muslim faith, Pepsi or Coke, I do not have the omnipotence to supersede that.
Deciding to be transgender is not as simple as deciding Pepsi or Coke, though. It is a fight for happiness.
As humans, we are on a constant pursuit of happiness which will help us discover our truth, and ultimately achieve self-love. If we’re lucky enough to be like the masses, this pursuit goes uninterrupted. If you are not a part of the conforming masses, like transgenders aren’t, your pursuit will be ridiculed by people who want to superimpose their opinions instead of learning from opposition.
An opposition we will never be comfortable with so long as we use it as the root of discrimination. To eliminate that discomfort, though, does not mean eliminating or discriminating against whatever it is causing it: we can’t eliminate transgenders, gays or other minority groups. We can however, change the way we think and learn to accept even when we don’t agree. The more we do that, and understand human is human is human is human, and we all have the same essential need and desire to be happy; we can open our hearts to general acceptance and love. A love so ferocious, despite sexual orientation, religion, skin color, or other issues that have historically unconnected us, it still remains.
So, as a bible abiding heterosexual, my encounter with a transgender initially freaked me out but innaugrauted my learning and research of LGBT civil rights. As a result, I am not opposed nor ashamed to admit my acceptance of transgender restroom integration.
To the woman in the restroom: I am so happy you had to pee at the same time as me.