Gender anxiety is a condition in society that involves experiencing feelings of discomfort when encountering deviance from gender norms. The Atlantic’s article “America’s Profound Gender Anxiety” points to this discomfort as the root of the transgender bathroom debate. As society continues to become more accepting as a whole, the barriers between genders are beginning to blur and this gender anxiety decreases. Public bathrooms represent a final divergence between male and female; granting transgender individuals the right to use the bathrooms of their choice would admit defeat of the division of male and female characteristics. Due to society’s increasing fluidity of gender roles, the United States needs to take the next step in moving forward and federally support the needs of the transgender community in conjunction with society’s decreasing gender anxiety.
Despite the history of many religions of shunning gay and transgender people, even many religions are growing to accept members of the LGBT community. As with all other aspects of history, religion and religious individuals have evolved and now often protect, support and accept members of the LGBT community. Examples such as that of Russell Moore, a Southern Baptist Convention leader and LGBT supporter, demonstrate the growth and development of modern religion. Moore views transgender people as alienated from society and notes that everyone can relate to this isolation. Rather than rejecting transgender individuals because of their differences, it is imperative that we instead try to support and empathize with the LGBT community. As society has moved toward abandoning its gender anxiety, so have many religions, explaining their acceptance of the LGBT community as promotion of their core values of community, kindness and compassion.
Along with the decrease in society’s gender anxiety must come federal bathroom rights for transgender students. The slight discomfort felt by a cisgender person sharing a bathroom with a transgender individual is incomparable to the pain experienced by a transgender person who feels a lack of support from the government. Preventing transgender people from being able to use the bathroom of their choice regardless of what state they live in rekindles an old message of gender anxiety in America. The federal government must provide support to this group that currently needs encouragement and protection above all else. Not only will federal transgender bathroom rights give transgender individuals a place to go to the bathroom comfortably, but they will also contribute to a positive environment of acceptance and tolerance for the LGBT community throughout the United States.
Federal transgender protections could do wonders for eliminating gender anxiety in the United States completely. Ultimately, traditional gender norms have evolved, and the federal government should progress along with these changes by echoing this attitude of acceptance toward all individuals.