I’m really not sure what prompts some folks to try to punitively enforce their own unfounded fears upon an already beleagured, misunderstood group of people. Although many of these closed-minded individuals would vehemently deny it, I see parallels in these attitudes toward transgender folks in roughly mirroring what racial minorities have faced in this country and elsewhere since the dawn of time. Why does an inability to wrap one’s mind around the experience of another human being have to result in disrespect, fear and derision? Why do some people feel that they have to defend their own personal viewpoint and the stances of other people in their own camp to the extent of harming others? Out of an unfounded, paranoid need to want to protect folks, that really aren’t being menaced by the transgender population in the first place, people within established positions of power are making the lives of transgender folks even more painful and daunting. We’ve already seen some of the results of this kind of paranoia with some genetic women being harassed by law-enforcement, out of a fear that they were transgender women using the ladies room. I wonder how many people in power have actually sat down to talk with a transgender person face-to-face with an open heart? Don’t we have more pressing issues to face as a world community than fearfully policing where people relieve themselves? And especially when this fear has not been born out, statistically, by past incidences.
Printed in The Capital Times 4/26/2016