The Bathroom Debate Haley Tucker

"The Bathroom Debate" is an upcoming phenomenon that has taken the world by storm. It is a serious discussion on whether or not we should allow transgenders to use the bathroom of their identification.

Every person has the right to express themselves and be who they want to be. While some may express themselves through their hobbies, others do so through their bodies. “Transgender” is an individual that's personal identity does not correspond with their born gender. Throughout the years, the misconception of sex has caused issues in one certain area- the bathrooms. Transgenders- whom, may I remind you, are still humans- should be allowed to use the bathroom of their identification.

Like all other humans on earth, transgender individuals need to use the restroom too. Although their sex may be physically different, it does not mean that they intend to cause a disturbance among others in the restroom at the time. Most transgenders that use their preferred bathroom are already nervous about what may occur, hoping for no confrontation. Transgender people intentionally causing a commotion is unlikely. Their goal is to get in a get out. Also, due to the privacy and safety of private stalls, no genitalia could possibly be seen by others. So, with this logic, the only confrontation could be when both parties are washing their hands. Which, unless provoked, transgender individuals do not intend to partake in, nor request for the confrontation to take place. Again, all they wish to do in the bathroom is use the toilet, not fight.

On the side of health, you cannot “hold it in.” Using the bathrooms when you need to is important, and not being able to use them- whether it be because of harassment, or being uncomfortable- can lead to serious damage and issues with your urinary system. While dealing with the feeling once or twice may just cause a weird walk, dealing with this issue everyday can cause major bladder issues. According to Doctor Benjamin Brucker, holding in your urine for large amounts of time can cause a series of bladder infections. Urinary tract infections are infections of the bladder, and can cause pain of the pelvis, groin, bladder, or lower abdomen. It can also cause urinary retention, which is the “inability to fully empty the bladder.”

Walking into the situation, the transgender individual would already have known the likelihood of both vocal and physical harassment. They are smart, they knew was never going to be easy. Unisex bathrooms- with the exception of single stall- is also more prone to harassment due to men and women taking advantage of the restroom, and looking for intersex and transgender to target. It is always going to be tough- the individual may not look masculine enough to use the men’s bathroom, but they may also look too manly to use the women’s bathroom, and vice versa. They come into the situation knowing the circumstances, and it is a risk they have to take. However, if a man or women took advantage of the transgender bathroom use, and choose to target others in the bathroom, the person would not be left unpunished. Using the wrong gender bathroom is illegal, and someone is sure to identify if the individual as one who is misusing the slight change of rules.

90% of transgenders report harassment and discrimination whilst working their jobs. 22% have reported harassment from police. And because of all of this, 41% commit suicide. Transgenders are not mutants. Transgenders are not out to harm everyone. Transgenders are not animals that pounce on everyone in the bathrooms. They are just people that needed to carve their own path in this world. To conclude, famous transgender Caitlyn Jenner, once said the following: “We are not doing this to be interesting. We are doing this to live.”

Enter

I.

Heel, toe. Heel, toe.

My shoes click and my

Palms sweat.

I am shaking. My

Breath uneven.

My brain tells me

Stop

But I need to go.

Do I? Maybe I

Shouldn’t.

But I need to.

I Enter.

I look.

They look.

But they don’t look.

They are blinded by

What they think they

Can

See.

Breathe, 1, 2, 3, 4-

“Why are you in here?”

II.

“Why are you in here?”

He steps back.

He does not speak.

Why is he here?

Men are not

Women.

“Bathr-room. I need to u-use it.”

He walks my way. I try to

See him but he keeps his

Head down.

I put out an arm.

“Men don’t belong in the women’s bathroom.”

He presses his cold hands against my arms

And I

Gasp at his touch.

I begin to tremble.

Fear?

No.

Anger.

I collide my fist with

His upper right

Cheekbone.

III.

People come in

Everyday.

But nothing is

Going to be

The same.

She may look like

A man.

But she may feel

Like

A woman.

I am opened.

I am banged against.

I am bashed

Battered

And bruised.

But they are

Too busy yelling and

Screaming and hitting

Me and hitting each other

To notice me.

I tear apart people.

I can ruin lives with one

Push of my body.

All because

They

Enter.

But sometimes

They don’t

Exit.

Key:

Transgender

Individual in restroom

Door

Fear

Scared of public eye.

Sense of fear and nervousness.

No one to help me.

Magazines

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