Perhaps it was wrong to think for a second that the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States allowing gays and lesbians to enter into same-sex marriages would make it easier for the LGBT community to be accepted within the heterosexual world at large. There are, of course, a whole generation, known as the Millennials, that could care less about our sexuality—or their own. Sexually fluid, these guys roll with the moment.
Then there is the religious right and nearly all Republican politicians who seemingly can think of nothing else then chipping away at our right to equality. They typically defer to God as their moral compass, or to children as the group in need of protection.
They really, really, don’t like us. For the Ls and the Gs among us, this dislike borders on hate. But this is nothing compared to what the Ts out there must endure. To Republican zealots, transgender folk are two layers beneath scum—a confused group that want to invade opposite sex bathrooms to rob our children of their innocence.
It does not matter than they base this assessment on nothing more than what they’ve heard or read. It is too much to ask them if they actually have met a transgender, live and in living color. They have no interest in discovering the truth. To do so would ruin their sound bites on the political stage.
Take David M. Omdahl, for example. He’s the state senator in South Dakota who last week labeled transgenders as “twisted.” He was speaking at a coffee event in which he declared he would vote to keep trans people from using gender appropriate restrooms and locker rooms.
“I’m sorry if you’re so twisted you don’t even know who you are,” he said. His comments were so stupid that even the coffee crowd in South Dakota realized he had gone too far and attempted to out-shout this dialogue with some of its own. But Omdahl would not be silenced.
Pointing to his head, he added, “They’re treating the wrong part of the anatomy. They ought to be treating it up here.”
State representative Steven Haugaard added that he thinks that transgender identities are a “choice of lifestyle.” Can he seriously think that anyone would select to endure ridicule, hormone treatments, and extensive surgery on a whim?
The bill (HB 1008) passed easily in the South Dakota House by a vote of 58-10.
Not to be outdone, Washington state has its own ridiculous campaign against transgenders. Bill 6548 wants to limit access to restrooms to those with appropriate genitalia.
“Nothing in this chapter grants any right to a person to access a private facility segregated by gender, such as a bathroom, restroom, toilet, shower, locker room, or sauna, of a public or private entity if the person is preoperative, nonoperative, or otherwise has genitalia of a different gender from that for which the facility is segregated,” the bill currently reads.
The only way to know, of course, who to let in and who to keep out would be to check genitalia at the door. A genitalia checker at every restroom throughout the state of Washington. I wonder how much that job would pay?
And then I give you Indiana, whose reputation for equality has seen better days. A bill introduced by Senator Jim Tomes called the “Single-sex Facilities Act,” makes it a crime for a man or trans woman to “knowingly or intentionally enter a single sex public facility that is designed to be used by females” – or for a woman or trans man to “knowingly or intentionally enter a single sex public facility that is designed to be used by males.”
Adding to the laughing stock that Indiana has become, the bill actually states that a female is defined as having “at least one X chromosome and no Y chromosome”, while a male is defined as having “at least one X chromosome and at least one Y chromosome.”
The fine for using the wrong restroom is up to a whopping $5,000 or a year in jail. And you thought it was tough being gay.
To all this lunacy, we can only respond that God Makes No Mistakes. Straight, gay, lesbian, bi, or transgender, we are all equal to the Divine one. And, lest some forget, to each other. It’s right there in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And the occasional bathroom break. Amen.