Ruling on Transgender/ Gender-Identification

Oct 5, 2016 by

Let’s all lighten up without making light of the impassioned convictions on both sides of the debate about the right of transgendered public school students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms ( and showers?) of the gender with which they identify, rather than necessarily the one of their birth.

Unisex toilets are commonplace in  Europe, are already found here also, and have not been associated particularly with crime or mental trauma. If all toilets were unisex, wouldn’t that solve the problem without need for a presidential fiat or Loretta Lynch’s bully-pulpit on the scripture of the Civil Rights Act?

Even with separate facilities as we have now, the hurricane of controversy is the result of a missed and perhaps malicious forecast by the political meteorologists. To some degree the storm clouds have been seeded and the winds whipped up needlessly. A little common-sense and courtesy could avert bad-blood and name-calling.  Some of the hysteria is driven by ideology.

Transgendered people are not perverts. They’re not sick. They’re not anarchists. They’re not predators.They’re not threats to traditional moral values.They’re like everybody else is in almost every way. They’ve often had a rocky road to serenity, but after enormous courage of soul-searching, they have achieved a victory that has made them stronger than most of us. They’ve endured isolation, doubt, rejection, and turbulence. And many of them have had violent encounters, including glares of derision, from ignorant strangers who have deputized themselves, with supreme irony, as guardians of decency.

For a public school-age student to have already journeyed psychically and bodily suggests an extraordinary depth of character. They owe nobody an apology or proof of their worthiness. They’re average people except when they’re not. Like us.

It doesn’t matter that the transgender community is minuscule. When it comes to human rights, there is no such thing as a statistically insignificant sampling.

Of course there are people who are intractable and hopelessly bigoted against transgendered people. Reasoning with them may be futile yet is essential. Let’s neither cater to them nor throw lye in their eyes. We must respect their fears and seek to allay them. If they’re not legitimate, they’re still legitimately felt.

Most people who feel that they and society itself are threatened by the bathroom-access ruling are not bad people, despite their crudity and claim of a monopoly on righteousness. It is not surprising that they are alarmed, given our shared ancestry-based habits of attitude.  Without wincing or condescension, we must willingly not only lay down the law to them, but sensitively assure that of what ought to be obvious but which nevertheless eludes them because of cultural conditioning.

We are all bad advertisements for cultural conditioning on one issue or another.

They need to know, for instance, that transgendered students are not going to switch gender identifications, depending on the day of the week, so that they can trail a classmate into the bathroom for mischief. They don’t see their self-hood as a prank.

There are, however, some realistic and cogent concerns about how the ruling could pan out in places like shopping centers.  What is to stop an opportunist of unknown history and proclivities from asserting his right of gender-identification as a ruse to enter private facilities for criminal activity?  It’s said that “the devil can quote scripture.”  So can a criminal the law.

There needs to be a “hold harmless” provision,  similar to a  “Good Samaritan” law, to protect security officers and others in authority who technically violate the rule in a good-faith effort in the interest of safety.

If only level-headedness were not such an apparently occult concept, we could all live and let live as most of us generally know how to do.

That’s a major unit of instruction for survival in our schools.

Ron Isaac


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