Fair warning before we move into this post, dear readers: it's going to be angry. I'm going to be talking about two things that infuriate me, after all: careless use of language and the vilification of people who don’t deserve it. The issue in question: North Carolina’s new HB2 law, which refuses civil rights protections to homosexuals and, among other things, would force individuals to use public restrooms that correspond with the gender on their birth certificate. Normally, I'd calmly detail how this law viciously discriminates against the LGBT community, but it seems that plenty of people are already stepping up to the plate on that one. Instead, I want to focus on some of the rhetoric that’s been employed to defend the law, specifically the segment about bathrooms. So, to begin:
Dear Ted Cruz,
Just SHUT UP. Your defense of this law has been absolutely downright disgusting. Over and over you’ve made comments about how you don’t want grown men going to the bathroom with your daughters, how you think repealing this law opens a door for sexual predators, and even once how not having this law allows Trump to dress up as Hillary Clinton and be allowed into a woman’s bathroom (I can't tell here wether I'm more disgusted by your comment or disappointed that you think it qualifies as humor). So first, let's spell out something for you: sexual predation IS STILL ILLEGAL. Sexual predators are still not allowed in the same bathroom as young girls, or indeed anywhere near them. The only things your pathetic rhetorical campaign proves are that you either don’t or can’t understand that transgender people aren’t simply women dressing up as men, and that you want to make a group of people already heavily oppressed American citizens sound like criminals.
Maybe (although I highly doubt it) you don’t mean to paint them this way. Maybe you have the tiniest shred of decency necessary not to tell the whole country that you think anyone who believes they were born in the wrong body and is facing incredibly persecution to be who they are is barely better than a child predator. But the fact is, you are. Your language when talking about transgender people sends the message that you believe they’re nothing more than men trying to pass themselves off as women so that they can creep on “real” women. Maybe this is an not on purpose.
But I’m not particularly hopeful. So, in the wild, desperate, and probably vain hopes that somehow, in some way, this blog post might make its way to your eyes, I’ll lay it all out for you clearly: YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. A transgendered woman is not a man pretending to be a woman. She’s someone born with an identity at birth that isn’t true to who she really is. Forcing a transgender person to use the bathroom of the gender they were assigned at birth isn’t keeping a man out of a woman’s place, it’s forcing someone who, for all appearances and intentions, is a woman, to use a bathroom with men (and also for that matter forcing transgendered men to use women's bathrooms). The rhetoric you’re using about transgender women paints them as criminals and child molesters, and is incredibly damaging to their cause and a danger to their safety. So please, for the love of whatever you worship (although I’m starting to think it’s a far less holy entity than you want us to believe) JUST STOP. You have no idea the damage you do to yourself and the people who listen to you, both those who believe you and those who you speak about. Let the people who know what they’re talking about talk, and just listen.
With excitement and optimism,