K is for Kindness
Basic kindness is at the heart of heated, public transgender restroom issue. The liberal media should not label Christians and leaders who oppose open, public transgender bathrooms as bigots and haters. [tweetthis url=”http://maryanderingcreatively.com/transgender-restroom-issue/”]Kindness needed in the transgender restroom issue by viewing its impact on all stakeholders.[/tweetthis]
[tweetthis url=”http://maryanderingcreatively.com/transgender-restroom-issue/”]Liberal media: those opposed to open, transgender bathrooms are not bigots.[/tweetthis]
As a woman, I myself struggle with being kind in this area myself. I do not understand the transgender movement in our country. For me, it seems to come out of left field with the swiftness of changes that are happening. I feel overwhelmed with it all and also feel hurt and maligned because I too have fears about transgender males using women’s bathrooms. Statistics aside, my fear really centers around non-transgender men who are criminals using these laws to violate and harm women. I wish the transgender community would not dismiss these fears but open a real dialog of respect.
Yes, we do have pockets of hatred toward transgender, lesbians, and gay people in the Christian right. Some Christians vehemently view these types of behavior as unforgivable sin. I do not share this view; although, I feel the Bible does state that homosexuality is sinful; but so is smoking, sex before marriage, and hating one another. The Bible also states that if we are guilty of one sin such as pride we are guilty of all sin. We are also commended to approach each other in a spirit of love because Christ died for all sinners.
In this politically correct world, it hard sometimes to do this fully. As Christians, we are alarmed at some of the arguments for bathroom rights for transgender individuals. We feel that women and children’s privacy and safety are at stake. When we voice these concerns, we are labeled as unkind and even evil and bigoted and the rhetoric becomes heated on both sides.
How can we approach this issue with kindness and in Christian love?
First, I believe we need to recognize that the transgender community sees our concerns as unloving because of historical context. Racial issues are also viewed in this light. No matter our religious beliefs, transgender individuals are human and deserve to be treated with dignity. Women who are victims of sexual abuse also deserve to be treated with dignity. Too often they also feel their rights are violated.
We need to call on the transgender community to recognize the rights of women and children to feel safe. Author Jane Eisner in a Forward article really explains this issue the best in her article: What’s Really Behind the Angst Over Transgender Bathrooms? She writes:
“You realize that these people aren’t freaking out only about trans people. They are freaking out about men. The bathroom — more specifically, the women’s restroom — is the one publicly sanctioned refuge for women, a sanctuary from harassment and abuse, a safe space, to employ that overused phrase. In all my conversations and in all the articles I’ve read on this issue, I haven’t heard anyone express the fear that a person who was born a woman and now identifies as a man will cause harm if he enters a men’s room.
But the fear that a person who was born a man and now presents as a woman will lurk behind the stalls to attack unsuspecting daughters is threaded throughout objections to the bathroom mandate.
“We’re in denial about most of the violence against women in our society, and this brings it to the surface,” Ladin observed. “If I am in a women’s room and see someone who looks like a guy, I’m taken aback. It doesn’t make sense, except for the fact that women everywhere are exposed to violence.”
Read more: http://forward.com/opinion/338030/whats-really-behind-the-angst-over-transgender-bathrooms/#ixzz45cJjnNYk“
I also hope that the transgender community will take seriously the emotional impact the transgender restroom policies have on victims of sexual abuse. Here is an excellent article on the subject: A Rape Survivor Speaks Out About Transgender Bathrooms by Kaeley Triller. She writes:
“The solution? Anyone can use whatever restroom he or she wants without being questioned. They can’t be serious. Let me be clear: I am not saying that transgender people are predators. Not by a long shot. What I am saying is that there are countless deviant men in this world who will pretend to be transgender as a means of gaining access to the people they want to exploit, namely women and children. It already happens. Just Google Jason Pomares, Norwood Smith Burnes, or Taylor Buehler, for starters.”
I also want you to reflect on her words here:
Don’t they know that one out of every four little girls will be sexually abused during childhood, and that’s without giving predators free access to them while they shower? Don’t they know that, for women who have experienced sexual trauma, finding the courage to use a locker room at all is a freaking badge of honor? That many of these women view life through a kaleidoscope of shame and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, dissociation, poor body image, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, difficulty with intimacy, and worse?
Why are women’s rights being trounced upon because of political correctness? We need to have a larger conversation about real kindness and love toward all segments of society. I think there is a simple answer to the transgender restroom issue: a third bathroom marked non-gender specific. These bathrooms already exist in so many malls and restaurants. They should be viewed as viable option, and the transgender community should not label people who propose them as bigots and haters.
I agree with Ms. Triller: “The priority ought to be finding a way to keep everyone safe. I’d much rather risk hurting a smaller number of people’s feelings by asking transgender people to use a single-occupancy restroom that still offers safety than risk jeopardizing the safety of thousands of women and kids with a policy that gives would-be predators a free pass.”
[tweetthis url=”http://maryanderingcreatively.com/transgender-restroom-issue/”]Kindness is at the heart of the transgender restroom issue. [/tweetthis]
[tweetthis url=”http://maryanderingcreatively.com/transgender-restroom-issue/”]At its heart, the transgender restroom issue is about validating each other as human beings.[/tweetthis]
This post is for letter K in the 2016 A to Z Blogging Challenge. Learn more about it here.
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