The Bathroom Myth – Again!

It seems no matter how often this myth is debunked, no matter how often the statistical facts disprove the bigoted presumptions of radical right wing religious zealots, they still try to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt about transgender people (especially transgender women) by raising the threat of assault in bathrooms.

But what is the reality? This is the reality – 15 experts, including multiple state law enforcement heads, confirm that there is no problem from transgender women using the women’s restrooms. None. Nada. Zip. It doesn’t exist.

The statement from Massachusetts is particularly strongly worded:

The argument that providing transgender rights will result in an increase of sexual violence against women or men in public bathrooms is beyond specious.  The only people at risk are the transgender men and women whose rights to self-determination, dignity and freedom of violence are too often denied.  We have not heard of any problems since the passage of the law in Massachusetts in 2011, nor do we expect this to be a problem.  While cases of stranger rape and sexual violence occur, sexual violence is most often perpetrated by someone known to the victim and not a stranger in the bush or the bathroom. [Email exchange, 3/7/14, emphasis added]

Other states also note no known cases of assault in that state. Three cities chime in with similar comments. Even the single incident that the antis love to trot out, about Colleen Francis, was never about sexual assault. It was about two thirteen year old girls entering an area clearly marked “adult only”!!

So how would people feel about two boys complaining about naked women when they snuck into a strip club? How would they have felt if two boys had snuck into that adult-only sauna? And note, Colleen Francis assaulted no one. She is simply non-op transgender and was in the sauna.

It’s time to bury the trope about sexual assault in bathrooms. In Colorado that trope was used to try to roll back transgender protections in locker rooms. One Democrat who voted against that bill (which was successfully defeated) was Representative Joe Salazar, who said, “I don’t mean any disrespect towards you, but I’m offended by this bill because this is rinse-and-repeat prejudice.” Further, he said, “The reasons for non-desegregating in the 1950s and ’60s was because Mexicans and blacks somehow were sexual perverts.”

See? Same old religious arguments about a problem that does not exist being used to support hate, discrimination, bigotry, and superstitious nonsense. It’s time to end this. And we should remind these bigots that we’ve seen all these same arguments before, against blacks, against hispanics, against interracial marriage.

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