Gen·der

noun

1.The state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones).

What exactly constitutes being male? What defines being female? Is it always as simple as being born as a gender that defines you for your entire life? How would it feel to be trapped within a body that doesn’t fit your mindset? This is a struggle many people know all too well,over 1.4 million to be exact.

At least 6% of the population today are living as transgender, arguably almost all having to overcome some sort of issue with bullying, isolation from family, loss of friendships, mental health issues, hate crime and lack of community support.It goes without saying that basic human rights should stand for all, regardless of such an unimportant factor like gender for example. Is choosing which bathroom to use not a basic human right? A child of four is able to go unaccompanied to the bathroom in schools all over the world, yet fully grown trans women and men are questioned on the morality of their choice between bathroom stalls?

Many laws and guidelines in public places such as secondary schools and shopping centers state that regarding bathroom use an individual must use the bathroom assigned to their birth gender. This is regardless of if the individual is transgender or not. The overall reasoning for this is because CIS gendered people ( CIS being a term for people who have a gender identity that matches the sex they were assigned at birth) fear their safety whilst in a bathroom with the company of trans people.This leads me to question, what is it exactly that they fear? All of the soap being used up? A trans person accidentally leaving the tap running or hogging the mirror space? The argument in reality is that some cis gendered individuals fear assault, that being sexual or physical.

There is an irony there, an extremely dark and disturbing one at that. In the first eleven months of 2016 alone there have reportedly been 26 murders of innocent transgender people, a vast majority of those being trans people of colour. Maya Young, 24 years old, Veronica Banks Cano, Febuary 19th 2016, Kayden Clarke, 24 years old, Noony Norwood, 30 years old, November 6th 2016, just to name a few. Hate crimes committed by transphobic people who arguably are the biggest threat in this situation. Of course a generalization cannot be made about every single cis gendered persons view on this matter,but there is certainly no denying that the trans population among us have a greater reason to feel fear.

Should we not be supporting the trans community throughout the world? Providing support and pride for all of those who have shown strength through great difficulties to become who they really are? Although a greater introduction gender neutral bathrooms may provide some kind of resolution to this issue arguably there is a much simpler solution. Let not just transgender adults but teens and children too, make their own choice. If a person identifies as female they have a basic human right to use the female bathroom ,if a person identifies as male they have a basic human right to use the male bathroom. This is not a question of gender it is a question of ethics. If a person is going to commit a crime of assault in a bathroom then that is due to their lack of morals and completely regardless of their gender.

Trans people are are in no way more of a threat to anyone else, they are just that, people. As people it should be our instinct to show respect one another, and with that respect we should allow a choice. The choice and the right to a chosen bathroom.

 

Published by Anezka Turek