November 1st 2016
Gigi Gorgeous, an Internet personality, has gained fame by sharing her journey of transitioning from a man to a woman. She has grown in popularity in recent years and has worked on movies and with celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Kylie Jenner. She has proven to the world that being transgender is something to be proud of and that it should never hold anyone back from achieving greatness. Although in the past being transgender has not been openly accepted, it is a basic human right to be free and express yourself and not be prosecuted for being different. Schools should allow transgender students to choose and use whichever bathroom they identify with because they are normal people who shouldn't have to argue over bathrooms, they shouldn't be defined by being trans, and they shouldn't be defined by other people's actions regarding privacy.
Transgender students have a right to feel protected when using bathrooms at school. They are students deserve equal rights and treatment even if they do not agree with their biological gender. A graphic organizer about what it means to be transgender states, “3 out of 4 transgender youth experience sexual harassment at school. 1 out of 2 transgender people attempt suicide by age 20” (Transgender). Transgender youth are at a much higher risk to be harassed and commit suicide because they are different. Being transgender is an easy subject for bullies to pick on, which is all the more reason to protect these students and their rights and make them feel normal. In the same graphic organizer it says that in the workplace 97% of transgender people experience discrimination because of being transgender. Although this statistic is not about school, one cannot ignore that a staggering 97% of transgender people have been discriminated solely on the fact that they are trans. In order for this to stop transgender people need to be treated the same as normal non-transgender people. America is known for being the land of the free so why wouldn't this apply to transgender people as well?
Transgender students shouldn't feel like being trans makes them subject to bullying when doing something as basic as using the bathroom. People should accept transgender students for whom they chose to be because it isn't their choice or problem. In a podcast by Yasmeen Qureshi, a transgender teen from Kentucky talks about her reasons why she wants to be able to use the same bathrooms as the other girls, not unisex bathrooms. The teen, Maddie Dalton, explains, “It makes you a target for bullying and, like, harassment. It puts it in everyone’s minds that you are different, and you are something to be looked at, not as, like, a person, but as whatever characteristic is differentiating you, like being trans” (Dalton). Dalton is just trying to be herself and have a normal high schoolers life. There is nothing wrong with being transgender. But, if she is required to use a different bathroom than everyone else, human nature and society will say that she is different or weird. America needs to get to a place where transgender people are no longer defined by being trans.
Sexual deviants will take advantage of a bathroom policy that allows students to choose which bathroom they use and it disregards the privacy of the other students. Just because others will make poor choices shouldn't determine that transgender students can't have an open bathroom policy when they aren't even the people making bad decisions. It is like saying if one bad person shoots someone, all Americans are gun-crazy, violent lunatics. There is no logic in the assumption. In the editorial cartoon the illustrator depicts an older man peering over a stall telling the woman in it, “Don't mind me I'm just here to keep the perverts out of the bathroom” (Sheneman). If a transgender person is fighting for the right to use the correct bathroom they aren't trying to invade another's privacy or be perverts, they simply want to use the restroom. Bathrooms have stalls for a reason. It shouldn't matter who is in the stall next over because you can't see them anyways. There isn't a lack of privacy in bathrooms for other students, male or female.
Transgender students have enough on their minds without having to worry about what bathroom they are or are not allowed to use. Even if this bathroom policy does not directly affect you it is a humongous deal for someone who is trans to be able to make that step and use the correct bathroom without being ridiculed. In conclusion I would like to have it be required that schools have a universal bathroom policy that allows for transgender students to choose the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity so there won't be any further debates around the issue. That way everyone has to abide by the same rules.