Transgender people using public bathrooms has been a topic of conversation lately, with arguments being made on both sides. Personally, I support people’s individual choices in regard to their sexual orientation and gender identity as long as it doesn’t harm someone or something else. If you were born female and choose to live as a male (or vice-versa) then I think you should be able to live life the way you want.
To me, this topic shouldn’t be something up for discussion. For years there have been transgender people using the bathroom they identify with and you were simply unaware that the person was transgender. So why is it that all of a sudden people are afraid of peeing in a stall next to someone who is transgender?
Safety is one point people have been using in the argument against transgender people using the bathroom they identify with. Think about this for a minute though: If you fear for your safety when a male-to-female transgender person is using the women’s bathroom with you, maybe they are afraid to use the men’s bathroom. They could easily become the victim of assault by being forced to use a men’s bathroom while identifying as a women. You are essentially asking the transgender community to risk their own safety when all they want to do is go to the bathroom.
Even though I am not transgender, I have used the men’s bathroom before. Any woman who has suffered with long bathroom lines knows that the men’s bathroom usually doesn’t have a wait. So if I can walk into a men’s room and pee, why can’t someone who is male-to-female transgender use the same restroom as me? We are all going there for the same reason…some food for thought.
A simple solution to this would be to stop labeling bathrooms all together. Facilities should have single-use bathrooms that cater to everyone, male or female, transgender or not. If you are transgender and uncomfortable using the stall of the bathroom you identify with or feel threatened for using the bathroom you identify with, then you could use the single-stall bathroom. The same goes for people who are upset with transgender people using the same bathroom as them: use the single-stall bathroom. William Paterson University (the school I attend) offers these gender-neutral bathrooms as a way to cater to everyone, regardless of gender or gender identity and I think it’s genius. It’s a simple way to make everyone happy and give everyone an option that makes them feel comfortable and safe.
What are your thoughts about transgender people using bathrooms of the gender they identify with? Can you think of any solutions that might please everyone?
*Feature photo originally posted on Instagram by @theok73