Bizarre claims about choice

I’m struggling to write at the moment, between falling asleep in the evenings instead of writing like I usually do, and being so busy during the day that I’ve just had no spare time. This weekend I might try pre-writing several days worth of material to smooth things over a bit when I’m particularly tired or run off my feet.

Today it’s an American nugget of stupidity that’s caught my eye. The article is a few months old, but the stupidity glows bright through time. A Florida state Representative wants to restrict people to using the bathroom of their biological sex at birth (no word on the fate of intersex people. Unisex bathrooms for those of ambiguous sexual characteristics only?). This is a fairly normal state of affairs, with all the usual claims of public safety and won’t you think of the poor women subjected to the men in women’s clothing in their bathrooms? No word on what happens when trans men go to use female bathrooms under this law. That would probably bother quite a few women – to have someone who looks and thinks like a man in their bathrooms. Anyway.

What really stands out about this guy is his claim that

People are not forced to go the restroom. They choose to go to the restroom.

That’s some pretty deep bullshit that you just felt yourself land in there. It’s a biological need, which everyone feels, and it is not optional! But people like this man are so desperate to justify their bigoted points of view that they will make all sorts of ridiculous claims that fall apart when held up to the light. They’re counting on people not questioning anything.

I am not trans, and so my word on trans issues is only that of a bystander. Trans men and women, in my opinion, have the right to identify as the gender they believe they are, and a right to use the facilities meant for that gender. I trust them to do so as much as I trust anyone else – because they are anyone else. They’re not more dangerous than the average person, or more depraved, or anything like that. They’re just people.

Trans issues are difficult for this cis writer to talk about because they are not my issues, and I can never understand them fully. I can only say that trans people are people, an deserve every human right afforded to the most affluent straight cis white man. The reality is a long way off, but the groundwork is laid when people begin to see trans rights as human rights.


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