Dear Future President,
By a certain age everyone knows what bathroom to use at the library or where to change for PE at school. Transgender people all over the country however, have to make a decision about where they feel more comfortable. Sometimes, however, they aren’t allowed wherever they feel most comfortable. There are no federal laws around gender-neutral bathrooms in schools or public areas. We need to create a singled-stalled safe space for trans people to use the facilities in schools and public places.
6 in 10 LGBT students feel unsafe at school throughout the year. Without a place to use the bathroom or change for gym class, transgender people are subject to assault or sexual harassment. Approximately 50% of transgender people experience sexual violence in their lifetime, so to giving them a space where they can feel safe is completely necessary. The current law is: “All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.” So under our laws you can be discriminated by your sexual orientation, or gender identity while using the public restrooms.
This year alone the United States we have had 20 murders of trans people so far. On February 20th 25 year old Maya Young was stabbed to death on the streets of Philadelphia. Maya, an african american transgender woman, was another victim of a hate crime against transgender people of color. If people like Maya had a secure place to go in public if they felt unsafe or threatened, many stories like Maya’s wouldn’t end in tragedy.
Our country is home to about 1.4 million people that identify as transgender or gender neutral. We need to make accommodations for the men and women who have worked so hard to become who they were always supposed to be. Continuing to let politicians in Washington D.C. decide where they should go to the bathroom based on their gender at birth needs to stop. A single-stalled safe space to escape the brutally judgemental world we live in. That’s all it takes.
- Mary C