1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington D.C, 20500
Dear Future President,
I am a highschool student from Minnesota, and I believe that transgender people should have the right to use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their gender identity, because it is already hard enough for someone to come to terms with being transgender, and to to make a big fuss about which bathroom they should be using is unnecessary. Letting people use the bathroom with the gender they identify with will feel normal to people over time, if it doesn't feel normal at the start, and transgender people will feel a little safer.
When a school starts protecting their transgender students, students begin to be more accepting of not only transgender people, but a variety of different people, because students become used to the fact that transgender people are just like everybody else, and makes students less likely to discriminate against others when they leave high school. For example, Atherton High School in Kentucky makes a huge effort on encouraging and protecting their diverse group of students, because the principal from Atherton High School believes that “we’re not to compel other people to act differently just because they make someone else feel uncomfortable” (PBS, Aberli). This shows that he wants to preserve the diversity throughout the school, and to him, that is what is important to him, and that's what's important to me, too. Unfortunately, diversity amongst the whole country won't flower to its full extent if people don't have basic rights, like being able to use a bathroom they are most comfortable with. And a way we could take a step in the right direction, is that we could allow people to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity at least in the work setting.
I know that people are afraid of predators assaulting someone or violating someone's privacy, but there are ways we could fix that. You can make the stalls so that it has an actual door and doesn't have huge gaps where people can see in, to make people feel safer while using the restroom. Or you could implement unisex bathrooms, and still have the stalls that completely cover you, so that everyone can feel safe in the bathroom. You can also have regular bathrooms with stalls, and then have two singular bathrooms for people to use if they are in any way uncomfortable using the restroom with everyone else. Although it might take more time and resources to make one of these solutions to work, it would be worth it, for the sake of everyone feeling safe and comfortable while using the restroom.
Most importantly, it is said that “3 out of 4 transgender youth experience sexual harassment at school” (Visually), because people don't fully understand transgender people. And that harassment causes “1 out of 2 transgender people attempt suicide by age 20” (Visually), which makes it all the more reason to educate people. All this violence against them makes their experience even harder than it already is. If a transgender person can't feel safe in a bathroom, how could they feel safe anywhere else? Only 13 states and Washington D.C. have laws that protect transgender people (Visually), which means transgender people don't have much protection.
Reflecting on that, a transgender person should be able to walk into a bathroom that matches up with their gender, and use it comfortably, because spending more time arguing about where transgender people can use the bathroom, means less time effort put into educating people and reducing discrimination against transgender people. I hope you take this to heart, because this has caused more controversy than it really should have.