The Breadcrumbs widget will appear here on the published site.
Let Transgender People Use Bathrooms In Peace
Now that trans people can use bathrooms without getting arrested, people seem to be all up in arms about bathroom predators. Predatory behavior can happen in public bathrooms. Yet for some reason, people are conflating transgender people with de-facto predators. This kind of widespread reaction conveys, at best, a genuine misunderstanding or flat-out bigotry at worst. Transgender people are not predators by nature. Cultural influences aside, a gender can’t make you a predator.
“What about the predators use being transgender as an excuse to prey on us in the bathroom?” a bunch of ill-informed, right-wing, and TERF memes cry.
My response: Oops! Your prejudice is showing and you don't even care enough to cover it up or feel bad about it.
Y’wanna know how you weed out the predators? You judge them by their actions. I would know; a cisgender girl harassed on me in a public bathroom and I’ve been strange about hitting the stalls ever since.
The gender police are now express discomfort with the genitals that belong to their stall-neighbors. Comparing transgender people using the bathrooms to predators by default in any way is bigoted. The fact is that transgender are far more likely to get assaulted than commit the harassment. Trans people are far more likely to be attacked by cisgendered when they dare to use a public bathroom or go anywhere else. It’s not the other way around. Year 2015 was a record-breaking year in terms of violence against trans people. At least 21 lives were lost to hate crimes against transgender people last year - and those are the only ones we actually know about.
Think about how hard it is for them to fit in already. At least 90% of transgender people have experienced employment discrimination and harassment on the job. In comparison to the non-existent reports of transgender people harassing people, the hysteria is nothing but a sociological symptom of ignorance and intolerance. Using the bathroom is a right, not a privilege. Transgender people should be allowed to use public bathrooms in peace just like everyone else.
When you’re going to the bathroom, there’s no reason to care about what someone else carries between their legs. It’s no one's business but their own. Quite frankly, it's flawed thinking to assume that such an oppressed group of people would be attacking the group that endangers their lives the most.
I didn’t have classified the incident as bathroom harassment when it happened. Despite feeling massively violated and gasping with my friends about it, I didn’t realize how strange the incident was. You already know where this story leads to a public bathroom, but this particular bathroom was inside of the low-end Chinese buffet that I went to my friends. Leaving my other high school-aged friends at the table, I entered into a bathroom with flickering lights and scoffed walls. Like a slow strobe-light flashing, the lights would never go completely out, but the shifting levels made me nervous that I would be stranded on the toilet in the dark, something that seemed dangerous in the situation that was unfolding around me.
There was a girl standing against the wall. She was a petite brunette with olive skin and brown eyes. She appeared to be around my age, but she had 1 of those youthful appearances that disoriented my ability to ascertain her age by sight. If I had seen her in another context, I might be attracted to her. She was smiling and blankly staring into the mirror.
I thought absolutely nothing of it. None of the in-depth words I just typed came to mind because it was just another trip to the stall. Nothing more, nothing less.
As I was taking care of the royal business on my porcelain throne, I noticed that she seemed a bit far from the mirror. The gap between the stall door and the lock could give someone a decent eye-full if they actually looked. She just happened to be standing within perfect eye-shot. Or so I thought.
At first, I couldn’t tell where the fear came from, but I soon noticed how she wasn’t preening or doing any of the things that one normally does in a bathroom. Her blank stare remained unwavering. She was just standing there while literally looking into my stall.
Turns out, from where she was standing, the girl got a perfect view of me, but that didn’t stop her stare. If she had been fixing her hair or voguing in the mirror, I wouldn’t have given her a second thought. But she wasn’t averting her eyes when I was in the stall and could very clearly see me sitting on the toilet with my pants down. Sometimes, we fail to contemplate boundaries or social nuances when they’re broken and during moments of fear. It didn’t occur to me that it is never normal for someone to stand there and look into your stall. I wish I would have said something to her because in hindsight’s 20/20 vision, her behavior was very strange. Staring into a stranger’s stall is always a creepy thing to do. Her gender had nothing to do with the fact that she was acting like a total creepshow.
I tried to piss at the speed of light as I tried to think of a reason why she would just be standing there, looking into my stall. Maybe she was waiting for someone? Was she high? My mind raced as it tried to rationalize her off behavior. I’ve never had that happen to me in any public restroom. Why the hell was this girl just standing there and looking at me through the crack of the stall door?!
Then I heard squeaks. As though I weren’t anxious enough, I thought I had heard rats. It might’ve been the fan, but the squeaks were all I needed to "NOPE" right the hell out of there! I rushed out of the bathroom as I pray that this girl doesn’t try to mug me. As I splashed water and soap onto my hands hurriedly, I felt I needed to say something to diminish the anxiety of that moment.
“Did you hear that?!” I said, horrified and breathless at the possibility of having a restaurant rat attack me and a creeper all at once.
Her expression was still the same as it was when I entered. Something about her doe eyes and vacant smile were absolutely terrifying.
“I didn’t hear anything,” she replied, still motionless as ever. When I realized she was still staring at me, I rinsed my hands off and shrieked as I left the bathroom.
“Dude, there was totally a girl just looking into my bathroom stall! I was afraid she was going to try to mug me!” I told my friends. After I recounted the incident to them (a boy and a girl), both agreed that the encounter was as weird as I thought it was. I saw her later with someone, a taller brunette with pale skin. I prayed neither of them saw me as we left the restaurant.
Petite cisgendered girls aren’t classic predators. In this instance, the girl in the bathroom engaged in behavior that was considered odd on all accounts and made me feel unsafe. It was entirely reasonable for me to feel skeeved out by her because, well, she was acting like a creep. No, she didn’t assault me, but she made me uncomfortable by breaking the social contract of not looking into strangers’ stalls and violating their personal space.
And that, my friends, is how you actually catch predators in the bathroom. Unless a predator employs secret methods such as videotaping you in the stall, nonconsensual peeping into our stall, etc. Public bathrooms are a part of life. And as with all parts of life, it’s best to judge people by their actions, not their genders.
#Real #GhiaVitale #TransgenderLivesMatter #StopTransphobia #PeeInPeace #TakingCareOfBusiness #PublicBathrooms
Visit our shop and subscribe. Sponsor us. Submit and become a contributor. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.