Our Transgender Child: Ignorance Breeds Fear

a photo of the author's daughter with the title "Our Transgender Child: Ignorance Breeds Fear"

This is my Boo.  My first child.  My “special one.”  If you haven’t read about her before, you can find out more about her on my previous posts: Our Transgender Child: Boo’s Story and Our Transgender Child: Boo’s Update.

For those of you who know Boo, or who have been following her story, I’ll give a quick update.  Boo is now 24.  She lives in Oregon, with her partner, and works at a pizza parlor.

I have tried to stay out of the discussions I’ve seen raging lately in regards to North Carolina and Mississippi passing laws which would attempt to force transgender people to use the bathroom related to their birth gender.  In my head, this was mostly

a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Macbeth, Act V, Scene V

Then, on April 19th, Target came out with its own policy, saying it will allow transgender visitors to its stores to use the bathroom and fitting room that best aligns with that person’s gender identity.

Well my Facebook feed blew up with comments, political cartoons and ridiculous memes.  #BoycottTarget was a big one.  Again, I tried to stay out of it.  People have the right to their own opinion, however much I might disagree with it.

Yesterday, one of my friends IRL (in real life), who has known Boo since she was a baby, posted this:

Stop the Madness "Hey Dude, I don't care how you 'self identify'. And I don't care if Target says it's OK. I don't even care if the Supreme Court says it's OK. If you follow my wife, my mother, my grandmother, my aunt, my sister, my daughter or my granddaughter into the women's restroom, you'll leave with more than just hurt feelings. As the husband, son, grandson, nephew, brother, father or grandfather it is my responsibility to protect them from people like you.


I have come to the conclusion that the current hubbub proves the saying that:

“Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hate, and hate leads to violence. This is the equation.” ~ Averroes

For those of you reading this who may have the concern that:

  1. Transgender men and women are predators.
  2. Heterosexual predators may use the transgender protections to pose as the opposite sex and harm your children.

Here are the facts:

According to PolitiFact, an independent, non-partisan news organization, there has not been one case in the United States of a person (either transgender or posing as such) committing a sex crime in a bathroom or locker room of the “opposite sex.”  NOT ONE.

Here are some comments by law enforcement and government officials in some of the states that have had transgender protections in place (some since 2001).

Minnesota – “Sexual assaults stemming from the law ‘not even remotely’ a problem.”
John Elder, Minneapolis Police spokesperson

Nevada – “No problems since passage of 2011 law.”
Las Vegas Police Department

Oregon – “Zero allegations’ of bathroom sexual assault.”
Charlie Burr, spokesperson for Oregon Bureau of Labor and Statistics

(quotes taken from an article on Mic.com)

There is VIRTUALLY NO CHANCE your child will EVER be abused by a person who is either transgender or posing as transgender. Click To Tweet

And what are we?  The gender police?

Is the plan to have someone standing outside of each restroom making people pull down their pants for a “package check”?  Or is the security person just supposed to make judgement calls based on the person’s looks?  Does my Boo look like a man?

Meet Sarina and Buck.
Sarina was born male, Buck was born female.
In states with laws like North Carolina, Sarina would be forced to use the mens restroom. Buck would be obligated to use the ladies restroom.
NOW do you see why these laws are stupid?

But let’s say, for some reason, the powers that be CAN figure out how to make it work.

That means Boo would be forced to use the men’s restroom. So I guess now would be the time to talk about sexual assaults against transgender people. According to a study of transgender and gender nonconforming people by the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School,

Seventy percent of survey respondents reported being denied access, verbally harassed, or physically assaulted in public restrooms.

Herman, Jody L. 2013.

What choice are we giving people who don’t conform to our gender ideals?

This is not a political issue. It's not a religious issue. It's a HUMAN RIGHTS issue. #translivesmatter Click To Tweet

One thought on “Our Transgender Child: Ignorance Breeds Fear

  1. Thank you for sharing your family’s story. All of your points are are valid. Much support to you, your family, Boo, and the transgender community. Transgendered people need far more protections and are at higher risk for being assaulted than the general public.
    If you don’t understand this, read up, get to know your transgendered neighbors; they are wonderful, diverse people with a lot to offer; I enjoy their friendships. They are nothing to fear. Transgender has nothing to do with sexual predators.

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