The idea of gender-neutral bathrooms has been presented to allow a safe space for transgender individuals to change and use the restroom. The transgender community is simply requesting gender neutral bathrooms to avoid the harassment experienced by trans individuals in traditional male and female bathrooms. In the article “‘Gender Neutral’ Bathrooms Are Dangerous”, Elizabeth Lee Vliet accuses transgender females (individuals who were born with male genitalia and identify as female) of potentially raping, molesting, or otherwise harming women in bathrooms and locker rooms should we allow these individuals to use them.
Transgender women are not to be seen as a danger to other women or young girls. Implying that these women would even consider harming a peer in a bathroom or locker room is insulting. Trans women are not looking for violence in bathrooms and locker rooms. In fact, they are seeking the opposite. All trans individuals want is acceptance by other men and women in society. By introducing gender-neutral restrooms and providing federal transgender rights protections, we can help transgender people obtain this acceptance.
In the article, Vliet addresses an incident in which a male-to-female (MTF) transgender individual was changing in a locker room–the same locker room in which girls were changing for swim practice. The author indicates that the individual was fortunate to have not been arrested. However, there was no mention of attempt at harm towards any of the girls in any way. The individual was simply changing and minding her own business. This again underscores the idea that transgender individuals want only the right to live their own lives in peace and with acceptance from their community.
While there have been no reports of incidents where a trans individual attempted to harass or in any way hurt a woman or young girl in a bathroom or locker room, proof of numerous harassments towards trans individuals have been reported. Still, trans individuals, women specifically, are the ones being labeled as a danger to women and society.
From a medical standpoint, Vliet indicates that people born biologically male have no sexual impulse control and no empathy for their wrong actions. Aside from the fact that this is offensive to the male population, if this is the case there is typically some other psychological issue that has already been legally addressed. Just because an individual is transgender does not mean they are not in perfectly stable mental health. To imply that this may be the case is, again, insulting to the trans community.
The allegations made by the author of this article are hurtful and degrading to the transgender community. It is our responsibility as supporters to address and end claims such as the ones made in this article. If we band together we can create a more open-minded and accepting society for future generations.