There is something to be said when people who are making the laws are a lot more immature than the ones they are affecting.
Lawmakers again seem to be focusing on the sex organs of people because for some reason they think they are shielding the innocent from human nudity.
Transgender rights is a topic that has been at the forefront of legislation lately and all I feel is that they are making me uncomfortable by forcing me to think about children’s sex organs.
I have never thought about children’s private parts before, but now as conservative states are trying to pass transphobic, marginalizing laws, the focus goes right there.
If that weren’t the case, then why would there need to be law made that states a transgender child needs their own changing room? It's the what not the where.
Changing is just taking off dirty clothing and putting on fresh clothing. There’s no in between. A locker room isn’t a military exam room.
What exactly is it that is so offensive?
In the 60’s and 70’s, the fight for LGBT rights was a constant push by activists to take the fantasies of indecency out of the bedroom and put it on the decency of the person instead. This perverse judgement is still alive today, but less so.
Let me make one thing very clear to all of the transphobic people who seem to want to pass laws which not only create an atmosphere of shame and persecution among transgender adolescents because they think having a penis or vagina somehow defines a person: Gender identity is not the same as gender role.
Doctors create the gender identity, while society creates the gender role. A transgender child is so confused about these concepts that it takes a lot of courage to break them.
But instead of focusing on that courage, some adult lawmakers find the need to focus on the torso.
These kids are not worried about showing off their private parts to the world, they simply want to fit in. They are still kids after all and that comes with all the modesty and shyness of being one.
Nobody wants to undress in front of others, who made that rule? When was it okay to put a room full of people in a situation without privacy and say “Okay everybody get naked and change in front of each other!”
That certainly wasn’t a part of any gay agenda in American history; that was a straight idea dating back to the inception of communal showers in gymnasiums. An idea which probably goes back to ancient times and bath houses.
If the reputation of said bath houses were so impure, why then continually make them a mandatory part of modern American society?
It would also seem that the idea of having a group of naked people in a common area figuratively violates some indecency laws, at least in California.
California code 314 states that:
“Every person who willfully and lewdly, either:
1. Exposes his person, or the private parts thereof, in any
public place, or in any place where there are present other persons
to be offended or annoyed thereby…” is committing a crime.
Does that mean if I am undressing next to a man with a hairy behind and he bends over, and I become offended, he is breaking the law? Should I go to the authorities and demand that he be made to dress away from me?
No, of course not. I am simply forced to undress next to this person because some years ago I was taught it was okay to do so and I have to comply or go unbathed or without a change of clothes.
I am also not looking to oogle at anyone in the locker room. I want to get in and get out as soon as possible; lingering would just be creepy.
There are some adult establishments which have the oogling option, but those are adult venues and as mature and consenting men and women one can choose what courses of action to take inside them.
But kids are not adults and bold sexual discovery doesn’t really come into play until they are a little older. There might be some younger sexually abused children who have problems, but again that is a result of adult interaction.
Kids, transgender or not, don’t have powwows in the gym locker room to compare anatomical differences.
Transgender children aren’t hoping to shock and awe their classmates with their private areas.
And the notion that a non-transgender child would fake it to get into a dressing room only bolsters the argument that non-LGBT children are the problem.
The solution is simple, provide privacy for everybody. If the idea of changing next to another human being offends you change it for everybody, don't ostracize a person simply because his or her idea of gender doesn't match your own.
Don't make laws that encapsulate the whole state because you think it's okay for people to get naked together, except if that person isn't physically the same.
Law makers, whether you have an issue with transgender politics or not, quit making it about the body parts and start making it about human rights.
Of course that would mean you couldn't take the easy way out; it might require you to actually focus on something more than the insignificance of what a person has on the outside, and consider the intricacies and courage which lie within.
Timothy Rawles is Community Editor of SDGLN. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, @reporter66 on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to 888-442-9639, ext. 713.