Fear-Mongering Knuckle-Draggers

I don't actually support everyone in every bathroom

this is from a distant facebook friend whose heart is in the right place and was making a better point on a different topic, but it got me to thinking.

let's say you're a teenager encountering puberty hormones and like all other such teenagers at that point in time you found everything quite confusing. and at some point you realize -- possibly with guilt or shock or revulsion or panic -- either that your sexual preferences are not heterosexual, or that you self-identify as opposite from your birth sex.

years later, after a lot of heart ache, family counselling, and therapy, you eventually "come out", living your experienced sexual identity. let's say you were born male but are living as a female, although the opposite case works as well for this discussion. either way you're not living the sexual "norm" as pushed pretty hard by various churches and political parties, but you're happy or at least less sad, and your life finally feels "on track".

and then a bunch of fear-mongering knuckle-draggers decide that they know better than you do what sexual identity you actually have, and specifically, which bathroom you ought to be using. either because they fear anything they can't label in simple black and white terms, or they want the tribe to be the final authority on what individuals do or are, or they're just a$$holes. whatever the reason, you're suddenly having flashbacks from before you accepted yourself, before you knew that your family would accept you... before you gave yourself permission to be happy.

is that cost, even once, or even as a theoretical risk, worth letting the government into our bathrooms? (i note in passing that it's the "small government" party calling for this, and that that party has had more of their people arrested in bathrooms than all the other parties combined, but that's not what's important right now.)

so, i can't care whether some gay man might enjoy watching me pee any more than i can care whether some man had originally been born female. as a father i routinely took my daughters into public restrooms with me when they were little, and i know my wife did the same with our sons. i call this "coping" or sometimes "going on about my day".

i keep hoping that the current fundamentalist/conservative uprising is just a backlash against the last century of social progress, and that it will blow over after nothing bad happens for a while. and by one measure of history, the more crazy things became, sometimes, the more fake they turn out to have been. this hopefulness has good days and bad days. today is a bad day.

all bathrooms have to be safe, but we don't need new laws for that. what we need to do is outgrow the idea of "cultural norms" when it comes to sexual identity/preference, and encourage people to be who they are -- and not who the tribe thinks they ought to be.


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