This remains one of my biggest challenges to overcome. Ya, it’s a nagging fear and I just need to push forward but I think I’m getting there. I just wish that society didn’t put so much into it. I mean, really. When you think about it. At home, do you have male and female washrooms? In public we’re all there to do two things: use the washroom and then wash our hands afterwards. Do we have to make a big deal out of it? For Gainesville, FL., it was a big deal. Enough to have a vote over it. The result of the vote was to keep the law, which protects trans individuals to use the washroom that reflects their gender, was 58% to keep while 42% to repeal it.
Quite honestly, it’s someone like me, a trans person who is in that in-between stage of transition, that benefits the most from the law. Those who have transitioned years ago and are read 100% of the time in the true gender don’t have to worry too much about this but it’s those that have just started or are limited by funds from fully transitioning that this protects. The idea that it opens the door for a rapist to use this as a defense is laughable. I mean, seriously, how often does rape actually happen in a washroom? I have to ask because I did a search and found the following: most rapes will occur by a person you know in a place you know (apt, home, work). Now, this isn’t to say it isn’t possible but I do think that the funds spent on trying to repeal this law could have been used for better education and support of rape victims in general.
Why not offer self-defense classes and empower women to be able to stand up against aggressors?
Why not put up public service announcements to teach adults and children alike to be aware of danger signs?
Why not make children aware of “bad touch” but know that “good touch” is ok as well?
The expectations of young people today are very different from 30 years ago. People don’t like big dormitories and communal washrooms. They want more privacy and that is what we are trying to offer them. — Duncan Simpson
Because it’s often easier to be reactive than proactive. Rather than spend the time to be aware, to re-create trust in our society with each other, get to know each other, be there for each other, we’d rather admonish others and continue a cycle of fear. I think society is exhausted of fear, uncertainty and doubt. I think society is tired of living in “uncertain times” and wants life to be simplier. Perhaps this cycle of downturn will benefit us in that it will teach us to appreciate each other more, appreciate more of what we have and respect others of what they have. Maybe it will even teach us to be supportive of each other in these harsh times and less reactive.
It’s interesting that the main focus of this is over whether “men” go into women’s washroom but not vice versa. I’ve actually been told that there is less of a threat for me to go into a men’s washroom than if a transwoman goes into a woman’s washroom. The more I see comments like that the more convinced that general society views trans women from a societal view of giving up on privilege (male privilege) and trans men going for privilege (both of these ideas are the farthest thing from the truth for 99% of the trans people I know). There always is a threat for a trans person, regardless of whether it’s a trans man or a trans woman. It’s the fact that a person is trans that’s often viewed as a threat. Perhaps it’s an overblown threat, particularly in larger cities but it still rests in the back of my mind and is probably the thing that holds me back some. I’ve gotten more brave as I pass and am read more and more as male. I know I haven’t run into any trans male who has said they were assaulted or attacked for using the men’s washroom (trans women really do get verbally and physically assaulted in both and that’s a horrible, harsh reality) but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Male rape does exist as well.
I think it’s time to stop feeding into the reactive and be proactive on my own as well. It’s always another step moving forward toward complete and total self-satisfaction and happiness.