I have one more post in me on this Thanksgiving. And brace yourself, it’s a little bit of a rant. It involves some follow-ups to a couple of posts regarding the question/situation/controversy/whatever surrounding use of public restrooms. As I mentioned in this post early last month, a bill is currently in the Wisconsin Legislature that would restrict use of restrooms by school students to the room that matches their gender at birth, not the gender which they identify as. Yes, it’s controversial. Yes, it has a little bit of support. And, yes, they held a hearing on the proposed legislation, one week ago in fact.
What’s dastardly about the support this proposal is getting is that its endorsers believe the bill, if it became law, would force others to “forfeit their privacy rights.” One holier-than-thou supporter, who has previously called being trans a “perversion” (a claim from the far fringes if ever there was one), even went so far as to call federal enforcement of laws that ensure TG’s use of facilities they identify with “a social experiment that borders on child exploitation.”
Really? “Child exploitation”? Well, if anyone believes ensuring trans children and adults a safe place to *ahem* do their business is “exploitation,” then I’ve got oceanfront property in Arizona I’d like to sell to them. At least there were several other voices at that hearing expressing clear disdain for the proposed law, including those who would be directly affected — trans youth as well as local school administrators who work diligently to accommodate safe environments in schools and build connections with those in their communities. That’s right, those on the front lines know best, not those in high castles or the sanctimonious who want everything to align with their “values.”
(Oh, that supporter who used the “child exploitation” excuse above? She was also among those who vociferously beat the drum against marriage equality and the domestic partnership registry Wisconsin has had before and even after Obergefell v. Hodges. The scuttlebutt is she owns a home with a “female life partner.” Boy, talk about being hypocritical.)
I hold a firm belief that those who take these stands against the rights and safety of the LGBT community as a whole have a bit of evil in them. It’s part of the reason why I titled a post on the subject from a few weeks ago “How Evil Grew.” Speaking of that post, it dealt with the topic of a recent vote in Houston over an ordinance that would have assured that city services and accommodations would not be based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The vote, of course, went against the rules, leading to great “glee” (note the air quotes) among religious groups.
Now, in that post, I really got my dander up over the post-vote reaction in Houston and (especially) online. But even I know that the best way to dissipate all that anti-trans attitude, short of education, is humor. Luckily, Saturday Night Live came to the rescue. The SNL bit in question actually didn’t run on the episode that aired the week of the vote. I tend to think that episode’s guest host, and his delusions of grandeur, had a play in that. (Yeah, it was this guy, the one with the bad toupee and an ego larger than the Milky Way.)
No, the bit actually came the following week, in the episode that had Elizabeth Banks as guest host and included Cecily Strong’s moving, bilingual cold open salute to the people of Paris. The bit was a Weekend Update commentary by Pete Davidson on the bathroom issue that was at the center of the Houston vote. I’ve embedded the bit below, but let’s just say that Pete sums up the “guys dressed as girls in women’s restrooms” issue pretty nicely. Yeah, like anyone is going to change their identity and their wardrobe and go on hormones just for the sake of seeing some genetic woman’s private parts.
Kudos to Pete and SNL for adding humor, and a bit of education, to the TG issue we all face. Still, it only broaches the touchy subject on how the negativity some still have toward the trans community these days. Today is a day meant to be with our loved ones, yet there are some who still frown upon loved ones who have progressed to becoming the people they know they really are, regardless of downstairs plumbing. And that rejection has lead to hurt feelings, rejection, abandonment, depression… and worse. But for every person who sneers at or shuts out a trans person, there are many others who will offer their support… resulting in the fostering of a more supportive family. If you have a trans person in your life, don’t shut them out; they need love and support now more than ever.