By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist–
Fighting for transgender peoples’ rights is fighting for the rights of everyone. For every gain that we transgender people make, the world gets a little better. Not convinced? Then please read on.
Let’s get right to the current, big issue — public accommodations. First of all, it’s kind of silly that we even need this law because countless transgender people have already been using public accommodations for years without any problems. When you think about it, do we really need a law for this? Still, we should get something on the books because in certain situations this will help other folks as well as transgender people. A law will help anyone who does not fit neatly into the gender binary of being either male or female. The truth is that there are lots of males who are perceived as females, and lots of females who are perceived as males. This may sometimes become a problem. One incident that comes to mind happened just a few years ago at New York City Pride, where a lesbian person entered the ladies’ room of a restaurant and was told to get out and use the men’s room. Yes, believe it or not, this happened in New York City, and yes, it happened during NYC Pride! Evidently this woman did not fit someone’s idea of what a woman is and this caused a problem. A law would’ve helped the woman, but since there was no law as such, someone took it upon themselves to be a “gender judge” and she was falsely judged as male.
Now, let’s take the subject of marriage and of being a parent. One has to wonder as to why we even need a law like this but, once again, we should have something on the books to help clear up certain situations. [pullquote]Why does there have to be one designated male and one designated female? If you think about it; it really doesn’t matter, does it?[/pullquote]
Many transwomen have married and remain married to their wives. Does it matter that they now present as female? Are they not still married? The only difference is that the couple is now a lesbian couple. Along the same lines, many transwomen have fathered and raised their children. If you think about it, what difference does it make if they were presenting as a male at first and presenting as a female now? They are still the same person. They are still the parent of their children. It doesn’t really matter, does it? You can take this same argument and show that two men or two women can be married and that both couples can be parents. Why does there have to be one designated male and one designated female? If you think about it; it really doesn’t matter, does it? What is truly needed is two people in love, two people caring for their children and two people making a commitment. Now that is a family! The transgender woman and her wife are already doing this, so why can’t others?
We, as humans, have lived for thousands of years in various civilizations. In some of those years and in some of those civilizations, gender really didn’t matter. In many of those years and in many of the civilizations, gender greatly mattered. Why? What’s the difference? Why the difference? I’ll tell you why.
As a civilization grows past a certain point, the ruling class looks to control the masses. To keep order, rules emerge and are packaged as social mores and/or are incorporated into a religion. If you hear it often enough, the rules now become the way of life. Some people truly believe in these rules even if it means that they are denied their own basic human rights. The ruling class has set the rules. Silence, the rulers have spoken!
Enter the transgender people. We question and challenge these rules that never should have been there in the first place. Let’s take a real good look at things, shall we? Let’s get back to where we were before the rulers of society developed the rules. If you think about it, transgender rights are the key to true total equality between the genders. Really! Think about it! Transgender rights are the key to the future for all of us!
*Deja Nicole Greenlaw is a local transwoman who has 3 grown children and works at 3M. She can be contacted at email@example.com.