The North Carolina Governor recently signed and put into effect the Public Facilities Privacy Act. This law restricts the cities of North Carolina from allowing transgender people to use public restrooms for the sex they identify with. This bill passed the State House 82-26. Senate Democrats walked out in protest. This privacy act is disguised ignorance in the form of safety concern. Despite America’s effort to increase equality, America continues to form and hold negative stigmas against transgender people.
The idea of being transgender shouldn’t be considered a mental disorder. The true definition of transgender is unknown to most. Although over 700,000 live in the United States alone (Sharon Jayson). In scientific terms we have considered people who are transgender as people who suffer from Gender Dysphoria. The stigma often comes from this misconception that people who are transgender are mentally incapable. We often don’t realize that being transgender isn’t a choice but is another way of living. Homosexuality was considered a mental disorder until 1973. By speaking out we were open to realizing that homosexuality was not a disorder but a way of life. With a little more advocating the same will be known for transgender people.
Recently Target has created a new line of gender neutral clothing for kids. This idea outraged many as people boycotted kids wearing the same clothes.The idea of gender nonconforming people or gender neutrality is not understandable for some because society has influenced cis-privilege and gender roles. There has always been two known set genders, male and female. These genders have taught us what to like, how to dress, and even think. People who fit into their set gender roles receive cis-privilege which is a set of unearned advantages that individuals who identify as the gender they were assigned as birth accrue solely due to having a cisgender identity(Gender Spectrum Organization).. As we get older the idea of male and female is imprinted in our minds, making it hard for us to imagine somebody stepping out of their assigned gender and exploring new options.
Many people believe that a person’s sex and gender are intertwined, when in reality sex and gender vary . Biological sex is the sex/gender you are when you’re born. While gender is the relationship between a person’s sex and their sense of self. Gender and sex clearly vary.
The solution for change is challenging for most. America has to become more inclusive. We, as a society, have to realize that there is no gender norm. As brands like Target continue to fight ignorance, it is still promoted by thing such as the bathroom law. The bathroom law “promotes” safety but raises a new concern. What happens to the safety of transgender people? We need to educate our societies on how genders vary and put an end to stereotyped gender roles.
For years people who did not conform to their assigned gender have been harassed and even killed due to a lack of education and understanding. In this year 13 transgender people have died due to hate crimes. We need to use our cis-privilege in order to help our transgender brother and sisters. Together we should fight un-inclusive and unjust laws like the Privacy Act.