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Transphobes who want to police women’s bathrooms are not Christian, they’re barely even human

Transphobes who want to police women’s bathrooms are not Christian, they’re barely even human

Using the restroom is not a crime

Are you sitting comfortably? I do hope so. Because if you are one of those engaged in US attempts to eradicate the ‘trans menace’ then you deserve to be uncomfortable. Very.

For what you are about is neither Christian, as some of you might imagine, nor even human.

You doubt it? Look in the mirror.

Some of you, I am guessing, believe the warped world view now spewing forth from the transphobic propaganda machines. The stick figure man peering over the top of a toilet cubicle, eager to spy on the vulnerable woman in the next stall – even though the actual incidence of such behavior is demonstrably vanishing to non-existent.

Or perhaps you think it is about the safety of women and children, despite the fact that conviction statistics show both to be at far greater risk from an assortment of pastors, priests and republican politicians than any trans person. And besides, this argument has never convincingly explained how protecting girls from supposed predators does not simply push the problem back on to boys.

But as someone far wiser than I once said: ‘God, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’

I believe – I pray – that many of you support these campaigns out of pure ignorance . You have thought a little bit about these issues and your real fear is not that trans women are some sort of incomprehensible perverts, but that they are men like you.

And while you may snigger along with that line from Republican and former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee that as a young man he ‘would have found [his] feminine side’ for the sole purpose of spying on teenage girls, that’s you, that is: a stick figure eternally leering, staring, disrespecting boundaries.

You know yourself – and thus you think you know trans women. Which – forget the tortuous philosophical debate about what makes a man, a woman – is patently ludicrous. If you believe otherwise, perhaps you would care to stop your testosterone production, and ingest vast amounts of estrogen, and see how ‘manly’ you still consider yourself to be.

Yet this is your creed: that a very few individuals, mostly impotent, many lacking in those essential physical parts that, you reckon, make you a ‘man’ are every bit as much a threat as you?

It doesn’t stack up.

It absolutely does not stack up when you consider that in forcing people to use the loo that fits your narrow view of their biology, you also demand that trans men use the ladies’. I still haven’t got my head round that one: how a policy that normalizes the presence of masculine presenting persons in women’s bathrooms will make it less likely, and not more, that real predators will worm their way in.

As for protecting women? Hardly. My own experience, over many years both pre- and post-transition is that women police their own spaces very well, thank you. Once – once only – was my presence in a changing room politely challenged by a woman and she, tellingly, was elderly and spoke with an American accent.

On the other hand, the individual who stood outside a changing room and, in order to “protect children” threatened, in the presence of my 7-year old son, not once but several times to hit me was a man. Thankfully, this being the UK, the police intervened to protect me.

Still, this is part two of what is happening, is going to happen. For in policing women’s spaces, men – entitled men – demonstrate yet again that they believe, expect even, that they have a right to determine what goes on in them. And woe betide not just the trans woman.

If you are lesbian, butch, or merely different, beware. For we have already seen the first such cases. Women – ‘real biological women’  – manhandled out of women’s bathrooms.

To be protected, inevitably, women will need to conform to masculine standards of femininity. And just in case some uber-femme trans woman tries to slip the net, women – not men – will be subject at any moment to the indignity of showing ID, else risking an hour or two in a male lock-up.

But perhaps – look in the mirror! – you DO know what you do. As trans activist Brynn Tannehill wrote so compellingly – so scarily – this week, the idea that this is just about bathrooms does not hold water.

The rhetoric, the whipping up of violence against trans people, the deliberate creating of ‘a legal framework to drive transgender people underground, complete with a judicial system that provides limited punishment for killing transgender people, and highly motivated vigilantes to do the killing’: these are neither accident nor coincidence but, insofar as trans people constitute a distinct class, a distinct category of human beings, genocide, pure and simple.

Some of you – I hope far fewer than I fear – want us dead: wiped from the face of the earth. In so wishing you claim to some perfect knowledge the plan that you claim your God has for us. You understand the mysteries of gender perfectly and despite the presence of trans people on this earth for hundreds – thousands even – of years, you think you have the one and only explanation.

‘As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.’

Ironically, in the week that church readings celebrated your savior’s last and greatest commandment, you respond with hate and with incitement to murder.

Look in the mirror.

Are you really comfortable with what you see?

I sincerely hope not.