Bathroom Policies: Transgender Rights

Separate but equal is inherently unequal. Transgender laws are progressing but not far enough. Public bathrooms and transgender people is an issue that is currently in the spotlight. Should they be allowed to use the washroom of the sex they have transitioned to? The arguments that are brought up against transgender rights in this situation are often silly and irrational. Some who has transitioned to the opposite sex is just as much of that sex as anyone else, and therefore should have the right to use the bathroom that corresponds with that sex.

The main reason against the matter is: sexual predators could abuse the law. As if sexual predators follow laws in the first place. If a sexual predator was looking for a prey I highly doubt (though what do I know) that they would go through the effort of presenting themselves as the opposite sex to find a victim. They just wouldn’t do that; they would waltz right in and commit the crime. Another argument that was brought up many times while doing my research was that it isn’t an issue of rights, more just fighting for special privileges that aren’t deserved, as if wanting to pee in the bathroom that corresponds with the gender you refer to yourself as is a special privilege. Everyone else gets to use the bathroom they prefer, so why not transgender people?

In an online debate 55 percent of people said that even if the person identifies as a certain gender they should have to use the washroom that matches their genitalia. One in four transgender people have been assaulted or harassed in a bathroom in the past year because of being forced to use a bathroom that doesn’t correspond with their new sex, according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. Eight percent of transgender people in that survey reported experiencing a urinary tract infection or other kidney-related health issue in the last year due to avoiding public bathroom use.

A friend of mine agreed with the majority in the debate because she “doesn’t want to see other people’s junk” which isn’t logical because if a transgender female went into the ladies washroom there are only stalls for them to use and if a transgender male was to use a men’s washroom they would be incapable of using a urinal and would therefor use a stall as well. Everyone is in a stall, there’s no seeing of other people’s junk.

Transgender people aren’t looking for special treatment, you’re just looking to be yourself and to be treated accordingly. Transitioning is a very hard process, everyone is questioning you, doctors, family, friends, and they’re all trying to convince you that this is just a phase. Being able to use a bathroom that corresponds with you identity is an amazing step forward in everyone’s transition and should be allowed.

If a transmale had been on hormone replacement for months, would you still expect them to use the ladies room even if they appear to be male? You wouldn’t, you would think they were just any other guy and they would most likely be screamed at if seen walking into the ladies room.

There is a bit of a compromise that people have come up with: unisex bathrooms. But this is just one more way to try and hide transgender people. I really can’t come up with one logical reason as to why transgender people can’t use the bathroom of their gender identity, maybe I’m a little bias being transgender myself but I do pride myself with being able to see most situations from both sides. But as a transgender male I shouldn’t be corralled into neutral gender bathrooms, I am not a neutral gender, I am a male.

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Home for a short while

For probably the fifth time tonight I make my way through the cultured kitchen and retreat into the back sun room. This isn’t my home but in here it may as well be. It’s a ritual at this point; I carry myself over to the pile of records and pick out “Melanie” from the pile, and feel its damp exterior due to the poor insulation that comes with paying only 600 dollars a month all included. I place the vinyl on the player and let the smooth, mellow, rhythmic sounds of “Brand New Key” engulf me.

The once elegant wallpaper is now grimy from what I assume to be years of grubby fingers and coffee spills. I try to imagine this room in its former glory. I try to imagine how former tenants would have decorated the dreary little space. I doubt anyone has done it justice like we have.

I glide on over to the floral print couch that Madeleine insisted would tie the whole room together. With its frayed edges and stained cushions I wonder what drew her to it. Maybe it’s because this couch is essentially us; worn and ugly to the naked eye, held together by the love of strangers. I stretch myself onto it and am embraced by the many pillows beneath me. I pluck out one of the frayed strings and spin it between two fingers, and watch it as it becomes an optical illusion the faster I spin it. Almost hypnotized by it I fall into a sheepish haze. Eyes like half-moons I light up a cigarette, feel the heated smoke travel through the filter, into my mouth and down to my lungs. And for just a moment the emptiness is gone.

I search the dimly lit room for the ash tray: a cold, marble oval dish we picked up from a local thrift shop, along with everything else in this room. I find it in the mess of newspapers scattered on the rickety coffee table, which has seen far too many coffees. I flick the cigarette and watch as its ashes light up the bowl, and then turn into cold pieces when settled into the cracks of the dish. I can’t help but feel at ease with every flick of the cigarette.

I run my fingers over the now yellowing linen curtains and the dusty texture leaves a mucky residue on the tips of my fingers. The light from the street lamps flickers through the holes in the curtains leaving an abstract pattern on everything in the room.

My gaze makes its way over to the window on the side of the living room and I can see Aldric, my godson, playing peek-a-boo with my cousin. I can’t hear them from here but I know he’s making that contagious giggle of his. I wonder if I was ever like that, if I ever experienced a happiness that pure. I pray I hadn’t, for I don’t want there to be the slightest chance he will end up feeling the way I have. This boy has so much to offer this world, I don’t want that to be dulled by an emptiness so deep it sucks everything into it like a black hole.

An over dramatic honk from the streets below removes me from my thoughts. I watch the world pass by below me. I try to imagine where everyone is in such a rush to get to. From up here I feel completely detached from the world, a feeling that has come to bring me peace. Nothing can touch me up here and that’s how I like it.

This will always be my spot, my escape from the world. I don’t know how long until the next move, so I’ll treasure this gem while I’m here.

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Anxiety attack central 

Today I woke up not quite feeling myself, I called my mom and couldn’t choke out the words that I wasn’t okay. So instead I asked for money, something I’m doing way to often. She said no. I decided to go back to bed but then I got a call from my cousin asking me to meet for coffee. I can never say no to her. So we met, smoked,  drank coffee and went our separate ways. I decided to go to school. 

I started to feel better. Was getting work done faster than ever. Then after I handed in a paper I got a message from my teacher asking if I had even read the instructions for the assignment. I had. This began anxiety attack number one. I immediately asked to be excused and went to the bathroom. I cried, sobbed really, couldn’t catch my breath, started seeing spots. Eventually after 30-40 minutes I calmed down enough to head back to class. Where I got the mark back on an assignment. I got a 78% anxiety attack number two began. Again I excused myself and went to the bathroom. I promised myself I wouldn’t get a grade under 80% this year. I had already broken that promise and it was only week 3. I’m so stupid. Such an idiot. Why am I even trying? That was my inner dialog. 

Again I calmed down and went to class. Where I was given another assignment grade back, a 95%. So why the fuck did I have another anxiety attack. This time I just got up and walked out. I went outside into the pouring rain and cried. I ugly cried, sobbing, snot going everywhere. I called my counsellor, no answer. I found my way back to class where I gathered my things and left. Tears still on my face. No excuse given. 

And now I’m at the group home sitting here writing this. For no reason other then because I feel the need to tell someone. 

So here you go. My day thus far. 

Tate 

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Honestly me 

I was reading another blog earlier in the day (I’d post the blog but it’s name escapes me) which had a post called “Truth hurts challenge”. It was basically about showing who you really are, with all the gnarlly truths, however socially unacceptable that might be. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that post all day. 

It’s inspired me to show you guys my unglued truths, as ugly as they really are. 

1. I only shower once a week  there, it’s said. I can only bundle up the motivation to shower approximately once a week. I know that it’s pretty gross, trust me I’ve heard it all, but that doesn’t somehow help me muster up the motivation to shower anymore often. 

2. I’m gay as hell didn’t know if I was going to add this but what the hell, it’s not completely socially acceptable at this point (take Orlando for example). I remember coming out to my best friend when I was 16, we were laying on her couch and I was oh so casual and asked if I told her that I was lesbian yet. She was over the moon estactic that she had a gay best friend. 

3. I have no opinions on anything I seriously don’t. Ask me about anything: abortions, politics, religion, nada. I just don’t care, it really doesn’t affect me in anyway. It’s really kind of funny when I’m having a conversation with someone on the above topics and I tell them I don’t care or that I don’t have an opinion on the matter, they’re astonished! Like how on earth can’t I be arguing or agreeing with them. 

4. I don’t want to go to university  I live in a place now that I could live until I’m 65 no questions asked. I almost want to just stay here, no bills, no preparing meals, no cleaning. What more could I ask for? It was always a dream of mine (for the last 3 years at least) to be a social worker, but I think I could give that up for a life of someone caring for me. 

I can’t think off my else but if I do I’ll update when I do. I think this is a good challenge, opens your eyes to some of your faults or no I shouldn’t say faults, but your ugly truths. So I think everyone should do it, so I guess in a way I’m challenging you to do the same. Comment if you’ve done so, I’d love to read some of yours. 

Tate 

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My reason for leaving when I said I never would 

I didn’t tell you to stop talking to me because I didn’t care; I told you to stop talking to me because I care too much. I invest myself too much and because of that I am easily triggered. I can’t keep living in fear of waking up one day to call saying you’re dead. I can’t handle the mind games. The stepping on eggshells. The fear of saying the wrong thing and sending you into a downward spiral. I can’t keep living like this. You trigger old feelings in me that I no longer want to feel. That I’m not in a safe position to feel anymore. Let me be. 

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On being called boring

I don’t think there’s a greater insult then being called boring. Like how dare you? The worst thing you could be called is boring; it’s like saying you have nothing to offer this world. You don’t provoke any emotion in people, you don’t get ideas or challenge notions. You rely solely on others to fill the air and to question the earth you walk upon. You’re dull and unexciting. 

Since I started talking to this person, “L” I’ll call her, I’ve been called boring a numerous of times. I’m starting to take it personally. I mean how do I not? Someone’s telling me that I don’t make them feel anything. Not a single thing, other then bored of course. 

Know if there’s one thing I’m not, it’s boring. I mean I have certainly mellowed out over the past years. Due to learning to cope with borderline personality disorder. I no longer experience the highs as often as I used to which sure makes me a bit more suttle but I wouldn’t say boring. I take great pride in the way I question how the world works, how I come up for reasons to seemingly unreasonable things, how I think of new ideas in a snap of the fingers. 

If you are bored it is only because you are a boring person.

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Tripping on the road to recovery

This past month has been a good month; my moods been lifted, my life is getting sort out and I feel as though I’m maturing. This is good right? Though I feel like I’m losing a part of me. For as long as I can remember I’ve lived with depression, it has truly become all I know. Im not sure who I am without it. And I’m scared of that. There’s such a comfort and familiarity in my sadness that I’m not sure I’m ready to give it up. 

Depression is such an enabler. People just expect you to be sad, to stay in bed for days and to lack enjoyment in everything. I’m worried that as people see me improving that they’re going to start to expect things from me; like attending school, getting a job, or just getting out of bed for once. But I don’t want any of that. Yes I’m doing okay but that doesn’t mean I want to leave the comfort of my bed. 

Suicidal thoughts are suppressed, but that almost worries me. If my life goes to shit I no longer have that as plan b. I’m just going to have to face it and that makes me anxious. It makes me nervous in every aspect of my life, because if suicide is no longer an option then I’m going to have to live with whatever a mess of a life I create. 

Tate  

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