With battles over the rights of transgender people to use public restrooms of their choice raging across the country, Alabama's only openly gay lawmaker has penned a terrific op-ed for AL.com that dispels a lot of the myths surrounding transgender people.
She starts out her piece by talking about her frustrations at the ignorance that's driving the debate over laws like the one in North Carolina that bars transgender people from using public restrooms of their identified genders.
"Recently a fellow legislator wanted to talk with me on the issue and he said he supported the law in North Carolina that mandates people use the bathroom of their birth sex," she said. "I asked him how many transgender people he knew personally. His answer, of course, was NONE."
She then proceeds to drop some important facts that everyone should know before weighing in on the controversy:
- No evidence has been uncovered showing that fears of transgender persons and "the bathroom issue" are warranted. Several states, school districts and corporations have adopted their own policies affirming transgender people's right to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity and have not reported problems, opponents of bathroom bills say. (Time Magazine, July 2015).
- In a study from UCLA's Williams Institute, nearly 70% of transgender people said they had experienced verbal harassment in a situation involving gender-segregated bathrooms, while nearly 10% reported physical assault. Transgender people will often seek out unisex bathrooms to avoid conflict that makes them feel like they don't belong in one space or the other.
- In fact, most child predators are male (The National Center for Victims of Crime) and The Child Molestation Research & Prevention Institute notes that 90% of child molesters target children in their network of family and friends, and the majority are men married to women.
- The majority of child sexual assault occurs in locations where children gather, school, church, parks, etc.
Check out her whole editorial for yourself at this link.