Talk Back

Trans Bathroom Use Shouldn’t Be A Debate

According to a Gallup poll, President Bush’s second term approval rating averaged out at about 37%. I remember all of the gay marriage talk prior to his second inauguration. Despite being in the middle of a war in which we STILL have very little proof or explanation for, the media flooded us with stories about gay rights and the dissolution of traditional marriage. And although this topic is a point of contention with most people, I find it surprising that in the Black community, many of us took every opportunity to gather en masse, armed with bibles and high morals, to glance critically at “the other” that fell beneath us.

The hot button topic of this election year is really no different. Today, I’m reading about gender specific bathrooms and the threat against our children if transgender individuals were to use them, gays being denied service in the mental health field, blah, blah, blah….

As a woman who has been to a few bars and clubs in her life, I can tell you right now that many a’ women have used a male-designated bathroom a few times when that third Jameson can no longer wait for a MAC queen to finish perfecting her lipstick in the bathroom mirror. My biggest concerns in a public bathroom are A) If it has toilet paper and B) If it smells. Outside of that, I really am not checking toilet stalls to see if the person’s feet next to me are facing forward or not. I’m here to pee, not check out the scenery.

So to see that once again, we are inundated with topics of morality, whose dating who, who wants to be what and the barrage of other conversations that only affect the specific few involved is quite exhausting. Some of my fellow brethren are gearing up for another ride down the ethical high roads as if they have truly forgotten that we belong to one of the most criticized and most oppressed races out there. We have a greater obligation to those other oppressed groups that are fighting for recognition and acceptance to take, if nothing else, a minute of empathy.

I’m not asking for you to agree with a lifestyle, nor am I asking for you to support it. I’m asking that if you are going to formulate an opinion that would affect your vote for president and lawmakers out there, that you have more to go off of than your moral standard. Be informed! If you’re worried about being attacked in a bathroom by a guy dressed in drag or if your kids are going to “turn gay” because they have a gay teacher, a basic Google search of some statistics might save you a lot of time and ignorance. I’ll even do it for you here.

just stop

Right now, we have a presidential candidate that was a legit Reality TV star that actually has a chance of winning. Let’s take a second to understand the gravity of that. Donald Trump is LEADING the GOP polls. A man whose catch phrase was once, “You’re fired,” who makes penis references because someone insulted his baby hands, and would consider the possibility of dating his eldest daughter if, ya’ know, she wasn’t his daughter and all, is a STRONG candidate for having our nation’s nuclear codes. The longest seated House speaker and conservative Christian, Dennis Hastert, was just sentenced to 15 months in prison for molesting teenage boys and paying for the cover up and we’re worried about whose taking a piss next to us? Come on, people!

We have been distracted by lawmakers with these quadrennial ploys to” protect our kids” while, in reality, our justice system continues to make a mockery of children whose innocence has been taken from them. Check the stats here.

There is a reason victims of sexual assault rarely come forward and it sure as hell ain’t because a transgendered woman wanted to pee. We have more concerns and bigger issues to address than that of a label on a bathroom. If you want to protect our children from pedophiles, start with the laws that exist now. Educate yourself on what’s real, because if you can read this right now and have never been a victim of sexual abuse, I hate to tell you this, but you’ve survived quite a few stall sharing moments with a transgender man or woman. The point is that it’s okay to be a little gay. It’s okay to be a bit queer. And if that life doesn’t work for you or you don’t understand it, you have no obligation to give it a spin. But please, be cognizant of those issues that do matter and affect all of us as a whole. I’m way more concerned about health care and/or our debt to China than I will ever be of someone answering the call of nature three stalls down. I’m just hoping they courtesy flush.

Tiffany Turner is originally from Chicago. She currently lives and works in Dallas, Texas.

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