As the conversation about transgender rights leaves just the LGBTQ community and becomes a worldwide topic, America is plagued with the question “should people be able to use the bathroom of the gender they feel comfortable in?”. Many people argue that gender identity should be chosen by the individual not doctors, and if one chooses an identity different than the one given to them at birth then they should be able to use the bathroom of whatever gender they are, for their own comfort and safety. On the other side of the table, people, such as the president, argue that a law allowing people to use the bathroom they feel comfortable in will lead to people taking advantage of this law and posing as transgender in order to prey on victims. Although both these arguments seem just, I believe that transgender people should be able to use the bathroom that they feel comfortable in. This is due to the fact that many people who are in transition or have already transitioned are forced into the bathroom of a gender they do not associate with and they are often times abused, bullied, and even assaulted in these bathrooms. Many people after being dehumanized and bullied for being themselves, feel forced to commit suicide while others that try to stay strong are massacred.
The percentage of transgender people who commit suicide is 41%, which highly exceeds the overall population’s suicide attempts of 4.6 by ten times. America states “all men are created equal” and society tells us that “people should be themselves”, yet they contradict these statements by being intolerant and unsympathetic to people whose struggles they do not understand. If America and Americans are to go by the Constitution then they should allow people to choose their identity and let them use the bathroom that fits that identity, if not then they would in violation of the Constitution by continuing their oppression on people due to difference.
Most non-gender conforming people are harassed. Over 50% of transgender people are harassed either in school or work, 64%-78% suffer physical or sexual violence either in work or school, 60% of them have been refused treatment by doctors, and 60-70% of them have suffered physical or sexual abuse at the hands of law enforcement. These statistics prove that transgender folks are constantly being abused for something they have no control over and many times the abuse is coming from people we know and respect. The American government needs to step in in order to create better laws that protect the lives of innocent people. There have been no reported cases of Transgender people abusing their power in order to assault, bully, or rape others, usually, cis people are causing the violence. Thus, people must stop treating them as aliens that have come to corrupt their nation and instead see them as humans like you and I. America’s first step in the right direction can be the federal government creating nation-wide laws that allow people to use the bathrooms they feel comfortable in in order to lower the cases of abuse against the Transgender community.
Adna Mohamed ‘18