One of my pet peeves is watching two sides of an argument unfold without understanding or listening to each other. Some problems are of equal weight and deserve consideration from both sides on how to make it right. While there is more weight one one side of the two stories I am about to present , both sides refuse to listen to, or accept, legitimate arguments that equal themselves out.
Before you read this: BOTH stories are pure fiction, designed not to be counter-argued to impossible, but to point out a simple, legitimate point: if I can think it, so can anyone else. Neither story require a genius-level of thought or a bend in reality (beyond, in one case, a removal of importantly argued laws,) both are set in the present (2016, if this lasts beyond a decade,) and both are easily quite possible. Both are very short, bringing you to the point of danger, and while it can be argued about how to get out of it, the point is about how to prevent both from being legally capable. (Criminals and those with intent to harm WILL do either of these, regardless of what the laws say.)
Story 1: There were 4 women in the bathroom when Carla – who used to be known as Carl in another life – entered. Two of them were at the sink washing up and checking their makeup, while two of the four stalls in this restaurant were occupied. Carla waited as long as she could before entering – while the laws had just changed, people had not – and couldn’t wait any longer, so she knew that one of these women in the stall was elderly. Unfortunately, she had no clue who the other “woman” was.
As she entered the stall at the far end, the two women at the mirror turned and left. acting as if not to notice her. Once she sat down and started her “piece,” the elderly lady in the stall closest to the door finally got up, washed her hands and left. Looking into her cell phone screen, preparing to finally call the friend who was supposed to meet with her, the remaining “full” stall opened, and a figure tall enough for “her” head to be just above the door top, walked to Carla’s stall.
When Jenny finally answered the phone, she could hear the loud bang of Carla’s stall door hitting the wall, a scuffle as Carla tried to scream, and a man’s voice say, “Do as I say, and you might live…”
Carla, who dropped her phone to try wrestle the hairy, strong man’s arm pressed around her neck, stared into the eyes and day-old-scruff face of a man.
The Argument: the argument used by many Christians, supposedly afraid of what might happen to a child or woman were it legal, can also happen to the trans people fighting for their rights – EVEN if they win. Evil people, regardless of skill, will find ways around the laws of the country as well as society. The one societal “barrier” keeping evil men from doing this is the amount of work it would take to disguise oneself as a woman to pass into a full ladies room. Removing the barriers that keep them out of the bathrooms they belong in would not only put other people in danger, but take out a few key variable others might have questioned before.
Story 2: After a long day of protesting, Jenny – the same one Carla would eventually call – had to hit the restroom. Unfortunately, she lived in a different state where the laws hadn’t changed, and was outside all day protesting the one about to be entered into law. To make matters worse, she was soaked and felt nasty from the “goop” some anti-protesters threw at her. She was a hot mess.
She entered the stall and sat down, hearing another man enter and use the urinal a few stalls away. She waited quietly as his cowboy boots moved from the urinal to the sink (thank GOD he washed his hands,) and left, before finishing her duties. As she got out of the stall and went to the sink to wash up, 4 men entered the bathroom. They were wearing leather vests with a confederate flag on one side. Three of them were extremely muscular, while the fourth – “cowboy boots,” she noticed by sound – was very tall. One look at them, with a goatee, looked at her with a menacing face and said, “We don’t want your kind around here…”
The Argument: THIS IS THE CURRENT REALITY. While the “Confederate Flag” was used to prominently argue that this was going to be a hate crime and not a simple rape, this is the one Christians are most willing to ignore: After all, it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. A book, written thousands of years ago by men supposedly acting in the hands of God himself, written when little was known of our world today, edited by other men during various translations to remove key elements either giving people equality or proving how full of shit it was, yet supposedly about the man worshiped by many on this very day (Easter Sunday,) holds more weight to some people than the physical evidence of years of painstaking research proving the legitimacy and differences internally of heterosexual, homosexual, and variations such as transsexuals, in the spectrum. In protesting and harming these people, however, they ignore the basic principal their “God” supposedly preaches: To love and accept.
Transsexual people aren’t fighting to be allowed to bring harm to others – they are fighting to do basic necessities without the risk of threat or harm. While I attacked many modern so-called “Christians” in the last paragraph over one of their many hypocrisies, hate and fear – especially of what is not understood – is not limited to religious belief, but to simple human nature. The fact that it’s much easier for a transsexual person to be attacked for being spotted out by law not only proves this, but legitimizes the first story. As I pointed out earlier, criminals ignore laws – but laws can sometimes make it much easier to give the opportunities to criminals to do their deeds.
What We Can Learn: One thing you may have noticed, at this point, is the order of stories: Jenny’s attack happened before Carla’s, so why wasn’t this in chronological order? The order’s important: Carla’s event is more of an unknown than Jenny’s, and the argument presented in Carla’s case is argued more often than Jenny’s, while Jenny’s is more of a known happening. Both display people who don’t care about the laws; and both are legitimate, capable of happening. That’s why using one to argue AGAINST the other IS NOT WORKING.
Because both arguments are legitimate, both arguments should be used TOGETHER: The rights of transsexual people deserve to be as respected as the rights of normal people, and the rights of normal people should be equally respected. Changes have to be made not to segregate people, while legitimate fears such as this need to be treated and addressed if we’re all going to learn to be comfortable enough to not worry about this. Laws that ban progression and equality only work in pushing back the rights and bringing harm to the individuals needing the protection or right being fought for – they don’t work.
I’m not proposing a solution – even if I had one. More thought, care, and attention needs to be weighed on both sides, and both sides need to come up with this answer together. That can’t happen if one side is claiming the other is full of “it.” (“It” can be anything negative, although I usually say “shit.”)
A proper solution shouldn’t come from someone like myself, either – while I argue for all people, I represent none. I’m not Transsexual, and my beliefs shifted back to their core, which is currently away from modern American “Christian” belief. (I understand Europe is doing this much better than we are…) While anything I throw out MIGHT work, nothing I throw out would be fair to all people.
What I do care about, however, is the safety of all people, and the ending of hatred and ignorance – something prevalent in both sides. We can’t prevent these events from happening – Jenny could have easily been at a rock concert where only the men’s room has a working toilet, and Carla could have been attacked by a woman. Likewise, Jenny and Carla could be Jeremy and Carl, transsexual men who used to be women; and in the case of Carla, she could have been born a woman (hetero- or homo-) or a kid girl – evil’s not limited to white biker men with confederate flag patches. Evil, therefore, should be the focus of attention, not sexuality.
If you’re busy thinking of arguing of all of the flaws in the stories or logic I’ve presented, consider that I left them open for a number of reasons that illustrate my points of the unknown. It’s quite possible that “Cowboy Boots” was there to ask Jenny out, or that Carla owed the attacker some money. It’s possible these were pranks by friends. Knowing those sorts of things can nullify the in-the-moment argument necessary to illustrate these points. If you’re busy looking for arguments in the flaws, you’re too busy ignoring the real issues of communication and equality.
Carla and Jenny – and everyone else – deserve better than that.