Can we talk about this North Carolina law that requires transgendered people to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate? Can we just acknowledge that this is a law that badgers and provokes a very small group of people that are already marginalized? Isn’t it hard enough just to have gender identity issues? Why must people be belittled in this way? Aren’t there better, more important laws to make and implement in North Carolina than this?
This law says a lot about the people making the laws in our representative democracy. I haven’t done the research to check, but I bet these are church people, I’m sorry to say. These are probably Christians–my own brothers and sisters in Christ–who are letting their fears override their sensibilities. What are they afraid of? In the name of family values these lawmakers oppress the outsider. Historically, the desire for people to conform, to fit into a tidy category has led humanity down some horrific paths. What is the motive? Is it compassion?
And anyway–it’s just a bathroom. It doesn’t matter. In fact, I think I’d be happy to see only unisex bathrooms at my church. If we are one in Christ, we can share a bathroom, right? Why do we have to have to have any gender-associated bathrooms in this country anyway? Put the urinals in a separate closed-off area of the bathroom (or a urinal in each stall like a port-a-potty) and have the stall walls go all the way to the floor. Case closed. It would save money on facilities too. Better yet, make the other bathroom into a breastfeeding lounge.
Is this a law that can and will be enforced? Will there be genital checkpoint stations in front of each restroom? If not then why make a law that won’t be enforced or can only be selectively enforced?
Maybe this law bothers me because it seems so ignorant. Every person who struggles with gender identity bears God’s image and has a story. Often the story includes betrayal of friends and family, loneliness, sometimes poverty. These are people who often feel they don’t fit anywhere, people who have had a very rough time in life. Jesus has something to say about how we treat such people. He says to love and welcome them. We can–at the very least–let them relieve themselves in the place they feel the least amount of anxiety.