Avery S. Minnesota

Transgender Bathroom Rights and Policy

This is a five paragraph letter concerning the rights and policy of transgender people and using the restroom they identify with.

Dear Future President,

          Each year, an absurd amount of transgender people are discriminated against and treated as lesser than someone who isn't transgender. One of the ways they are being discriminated against is through the restriction of which bathrooms they can use based on what it says on their birth certificate. This is important to me because it affects the people around me and in my life. Transgender people should be allowed to use the bathrooms they identify with because they have to deal with enough discrimination already, they are at high risk of violence and harm, and people are only in the bathroom for such a short amount of time that they wouldn't be in the bathroom long enough to make someone feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

          Transgender people have to deal with a lot of discrimination and misidentification. Discrimination is very common for these people because most of the populous doesn't see it as normal. Ninety seven percent of all transgender people in the workplace are discriminated against (Visually). I think this is very true, even at school I can hear people referring to someone who is transgender with incorrect pronouns or at least not making an effort to use the correct pronouns. They may not be discriminated out in the open in front of the person, but behind closed doors I've heard some things about how some people think it's weird or not normal. This isn’t just about it being normal, “This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens” (Attorney General Loretta Lynch). This is important to the bathroom policy because not being able to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with adds another layer of discrimination and hate on top of what they already experience.

        The transgender community is extremely at risk of harm, self-harm, and violence involving people outside of the transgender community. Large numbers of transgender people, including some of my own friends, have dealt with discrimination and self-harm. Three out of four transgender youth experience sexual harassment (Visually). To add to that, one out of two attempt suicide by the age of twenty (Visually). I think this evidence proves transgender people are very vulnerable especially if they are younger. Adding more discrimination and misidentification through the use of the bathroom based upon sex and not the idea of gender creates more problems and can push them farther from feeling accepted. This is important because it can create more of a discrimination against transgender people which can lead to an increase in violence, self-harm, and attempted suicide rate.

          People that are against the idea of a transgender person using a selected bathroom could argue that a transgender person, or someone who claims to be transgender, can take advantage and sexually harass someone of the opposite sex. A counterargument can be made, If someone genuinely wanted to harass someone in a bathroom, they would need to wait inside for a decent amount of time. Going to the bathroom takes such a short amount of time, it shouldn’t matter who’s using the bathroom because if they are out to harass you, you would notice if they have been inside for an abnormal amount of time. A political cartoon put out by The Week news site depicts a man looking over the stall at a women telling her he’s there to keep the perverts out when he in turn is the pervert. This supports the claim above, anyone looking to harass someone else would have to be inside the bathroom for a long time, the character in the cartoon says he is keeping the perverts out, but in order to do so he has to stay in the bathroom for an extended amount of time. All people use the restroom for shorts amount of time if they are actually using the bathroom, transgender people are no different meaning they wouldn’t have the time to harass someone.

          Being faced with discrimination, high risk of violence, and the idea they are going to sexually harass someone takes a toll on transgender people, to ease this load we can let them use their bathroom of choice. All five examples show the hardships, the discrimination, and the risk of transgender people. Personally, this position is the logical stance because the bathroom is such a small part of a person’s life we can afford to give transgender people this freedom. The reader should make an effort to learn what can be done and how they can take action to help and advocate for transgender rights.



Works Cited:

Washington Post via Newsela (Ed. Newsela staff. Version 1080). “U.S. Government, N.C. File Opposing Lawsuits Over ‘Bathroom Bill.’” 12 May 2016. Web. 21 June 2016.

“Transgender.” Visually. March 2011. Web. 21 June 2016.

Sheneman, Drew. “Trans Bathrooms.” The Week. 2016. Web. 21 June 2016.