As a transgender person, I know that I don't speak for all transgender people, and neither does any other. No 2 transgender people are alike, we are just as different & variant as the cisgender population. We come in a wide variety, we exist in all races, cultures & backgrounds, and we have a whole spectrum of gender identities. We even exist among very prominent religions, even the ones who are against us. We are among you, and have been for quite some time, and it's very likely that you weren't even aware, because for some of us, in order to live a happy & healthy life free of discrimination, abuse, & physical violence, some of us become stealth, which means we exist without ever admitting that we were assigned the wrong gender at birth, in other words, we live among the cisgender masses, and they haven't a clue, this is for our own safety. To live in a world where we don't have to hide truths about ourselves, and our histories would be a revolutionary world to live in, but with the amount of murders against us, and the amount of times we die by suicide because we can't take the rejection any longer, I understand why some chose to be stealth, it isn't our fault that we were born into a world that is currently working against us.
A good number of us (myself included) are open about who we are completely, or to a certain extent, a lot of the time we chose to make ourselves visible, and not hide who we are, because we believe that society will never get used to us unless we make ourselves known, and make ourselves visible.
Visibility means that we go shopping, get gas at the gas station, do our laundry at the Laundromat, we go out for drinks at the local pub, we eat out at restaurant, and yes from time to time just like any cisgender person we need to void our bladders, and empty our colons, so yes, we use public restrooms, because we are after all human beings who are actually part of the public.
I have had people express concern to me, that they are afraid of what their children will think if they see a transgender person in a restroom. My answer to these people is - educated your children about all of the people in the world, and be open minded, otherwise keep your children safe and sound locked away at home! There isn't anything wrong with people who are transgender, we are wonderful reputable people, and we don't deserve to be treated as if there is something so wrong with us, that your children shouldn't be exposed to information about us. Children are capable of understanding about people who are transgender, there is in fact an age appropriate way to discuss these things with them, one great way is with a child friendly book by Jo Hirst called "The Gender Fairy".
I also have people express concern that although they aren't against transgender people, that as women, they have a problem sharing a bathroom with a 'man', for various reasons, some religious based, and some for reasons of being the victims of sexual assault from a man. My answer to you is while we sympathize with those who have been sexually assaulted, we can't let your personal issues stand in the way of our living our life, we aren't disposable, or vermin to just be gotten rid of, the answer is to get mental help, transgender people aren't the problem, and demonizing people because of your mental issues is a really disgusting thing to do. It is the people who oppress transgender people who have the problem, transgender people simply want to live & let live, whereas our oppressors actually want to put a stop to us, which will not happen. There is no logical factual reason to fear us, to be against us, or to restrict us, there isn't a single case of a transgender woman ever harming anyone in a public restroom, not even in self defense, our rights being taken away based on what-ifs doesn't fly here.
A practical suggestion is to stop defining & judging the people around you! It isn't your place. A transgender woman is not a man, therefore you do not need to worry about her harming you. You shouldn't demonize transgender women, that is bigotry, and that is wrong. Public restrooms are for the public, transgender people are part of the public, if you are scared of coming in contact with a transgender woman in a restroom, then go home and use your own personal restroom, your personal issues will be solved with that simple decision on your part.
The overall purpose of this blog posting is to notify the general public that as a community we will not stand down, we will continue to be our authentic selves, we will also be upstanding citizens and never invade the privacy of anyone, we will keep our eyes to ourselves if you do, we will treat everyone else with dignity and respect so long as you do the same! Don't bother us, and we will not bother you, but if our presence is simply enough to bother you, that is your problem, not ours, we are fine with who we are, and make no mistake about it, we owe nobody any explanations, we are under no obligation to explain ourselves, so don't question our authenticity, because you do not define our authenticity, we only define our own authenticity, and also don't ask intrusive inappropriate questions - our private parts are not any of your business - they are called private parts for a reason, they are none of your business, and don't forget, transgender people are protected by hate crime laws in the United States, and other countries, so unless you want to be in some legal hot water, I suggest being cordial, understanding, and open to education, after all that is the respectful thing to do.
If you want to know what exactly is considered a hate crime, and what possible punishments are for hate crimes, do a Google search, because research and education is indeed your best friend! Peace be with you, and good luck.
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