By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist—
In the quest for trans rights, one of the alleged issues is the bathroom. Opponents claim that they don’t want transwomen in the women’s room because they say that transwomen are not really women. The opponents usually follow that thought with all kinds of imagined scenarios of ciswomen (women who are not transwomen) being in grave danger because there are transwomen in the bathroom.
This is all nonsense and unfounded. First of all, a transwoman is a woman, and second, to my knowledge, there has never been an incident where a transwoman endangered a ciswoman in the bathroom. The fact is that transwomen have been using the women’s room for years and there have been no incidents. Opponents then shift their reasoning to saying that if a law was passed, then any man could take advantage of the law and dress up as a woman and harass the women in the women’s room. Again, this is nonsense and unfounded. There are over a dozen states with laws that give transwomen the right to use the women’s room, and in these states, to my knowledge, there has not been one incident of a man taking advantage of the law by dressing up as a woman and harassing the women in the women’s room. [pullquote]There are over a dozen states with laws that give transwomen the right to use the women’s room, and in these states, to my knowledge, there has not been one incident of a man taking advantage of the law by dressing up as a woman and harassing the women in the women’s room.[/pullquote]
Nevertheless, there are still folks out there who are against transwomen using the women’s room. I cannot truly say why this is an issue for them because I am not one of them. Only they can speak for themselves. I can only listen to their reasoning on this issue, and frankly, I don’t see any valid reasoning at all.
Let’s just imagine for a minute or two that somehow there was a law that stated transwomen could not legally use the women’s room. Now where do the transwomen go? What is their option? Their only option is then to use the men’s room. Let’s keep on imagining this scenario. There’s this bathroom full of men and a transwoman comes in. How are these men going to feel about a transwoman sharing their bathroom? I don’t know for sure how they will feel, but I can imagine that they would probably feel a bit uncomfortable. Perhaps some of the men might take issue with the transwoman and maybe bully and/or pick a fight with the transwoman. This would endanger the transwoman. Another scenario to consider is the father who is in the men’s room with his young son. What will dad say when his son asks why there’s a woman in the men’s room? Yes, I am creating scenarios, but these would most likely be realistic situations.
If the law states that transwomen have to use the men’s room then, to be fair, the law would imply that transmen have to use the women’s room. Now picture what the ciswomen would think about that! Most, if not all, of the transmen that I know look totally male. Many have beards and low voices and you would never guess that they were trans at all. Still, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, so transmen would have to use the women’s room. Now the ciswomen would have to deal with transmen in the women’s room. A mom might take her young daughter into the women’s room and her daughter might ask why there are men in the women’s room. What will the mom say? You could imagine all kinds of possible scenarios. The scenario that I find the most disturbing is the one where any cisman could pretend that he is a transman and could proceed to use the women’s room. He wouldn’t even have to dress in women’s clothing to do this. Now ask yourself why a man would want to use the women’s room in the first place. You have to think that this man is up to no good.
If you really think about it, it makes sense for transwomen to use the women’s room and transmen to use the men’s room as we have been doing for years. Any other way could be trouble for all.
*Deja Nicole Greenlaw is a local transwoman who has three grown children and works at 3M. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.