I am a mother to a beautiful little blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl. I am also (mostly) Republican. Every single day of my life, I fear for my children’s safety. I don’t say this lightly; I legitimately live in paranoia and fear that something bad could happen to my children. There is no way in Hell that I am okay with a pedophile peeking in on my child while she is using a public restroom.
You know what else I am not okay with? Discrimination. Hatred. Judgments being placed on an entire group of people just because they live differently than you are used to.
I am very opinionated – if you know me, you know just how true this statement is. I try very hard to keep my blog in the middle, so I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings or target anyone specifically. What you also know to be true if you know me, is I have friends all over the spectrum. I have beliefs and religious views that vary far and wide from my friends’, yet I don’t let that get in the way of my friendships, you know why?! THAT’S RIGHT, folks with a brain – it’s because we are all humans. We all are capable of love and understanding and acceptance.
I know we all have learned about segregation. About racism. About white privilege. And when we were younger, we always were so confused on WHY. WHY couldn’t blacks use the restroom that a white person was using? Oh, it was literally just becuase of their race. The color of their skin rid them of basic human rights. So how is this Target bathroom situation any different?
Let’s be honest for a second. Those of you that are reading this, scoffing, and getting your fingers ready to be a keyboard warrior and tell me how awful I am to support such an audacity – WHY are you against this rule (which – by the way – is nothing new. Target has always had this rule in their policy, which means if you have ever used the restroom at a Target, you very well could have been stall-neighbors with a transgender and you never even knew it.)? Is it because you don’t want your child to know acceptance? Is it because you want to teach your children to fear those who live their lives differently than you live yours? Because that is what you are teaching them.
I’m going to ruin your day for a minute. Rape happens. Sexual assault happens. Peeping Toms happen. Violent men do not care what the sign on the door says. And – you are also 90% more likely to be sexually attacked by someone you know, than you are a stranger sneaking into a public bathroom in the middle of the day. When I was 17 years old, I was sexually assaulted by someone I knew very well. There are laws that could have protected me. There is common sense that could have protected me. But guess what, he didn’t care. Because he was a violent man with a mission. My attacker was going to attack me, whether there was a sign that said he was allowed to or not. Pedophiles are going to attack, whether or not there are laws forbiding it.
I have been silently -and sometimes not silently – reading comments on blogs and posts and articles written about Target, from both sides of this debate (WHY IS THIS EVEN A DEBATE?!) for a few days now. What it seems to come down to is parents don’t want a penis next to the stall that their wife/daughter/sister is using. Well, let me solve this life-ending riddle for you. Don’t use the public restroom. Pee at your own home before you leave. Wait until the person you are so uncomfortable being next to is finished. You know what you DON’T do? You do not make somebody who has already lived their life in a state of confusion, in constant fear, with little acceptance, feel more uncomfortable or unwelcome because you are simple-minded. It is none of your business where they pee. I have been in places where they only have one, single, unisex bathroom – guess what, I have never been attacked there. I have never feared for my life. When I was younger, one of my favorite bars to go to had Drag Shows every week – and I went. I sat at the bar and drank with my girlfriends, and I never once felt uncomfortable or fearful that a man who identified as a woman was going to rape me.
Let’s break this down. Transgenders are not pedophiles. There is a difference between the two. They are not connected. I understand that they live differently than some others, but that does not make it okay to fear an entire group of people just because you do not understand them or their life. Do you think Transgenders want to waltz into a bathroom, knowing that there are so many people who want to stop that from happening? No, because they fear, too. I have seen an ungodly amount of threats on social media about this. “If I see a man follow my wife into the bathroom, I’ll kick his ass.” “No grown man should enter a woman’s restroom, if I see it, he’s dead.” Well great. I agree, if there is a grown man following in, sure. But if it is a woman who identifies as a woman, but happens to have a penis still, where would you suppose she pee? Bear with me for a second.
This isn’t a debate about Transgenders, so let’s not take it out on them. You gotta pee, do your thing, but do not think that you are above somebody else just because you were born with the body parts that match your identity. Do not think that you get to make decisions affecting someone else’s life. You want to protect yourself, your wife, your children, ABSOLUTELY. I get that. I am a mom, a wife, a daughter, and a sister. You know how I am still alive and how I protect my children? Situational Awareness. I pay attention to my surroundings. If something seems off, or I am creeped out by something, I simply wait until it passes or I skip it. Living in fear is no way to live nor is it what I want to pass down to my children. Should I ever have a child who identifies as the sex opposite to what they were born as, I hope that they are always met with love and acceptance for who they really are.
Now excuse me while I run to Target & look up when the next Drag Show is.