Opinion

History repeats

In 1954, the Supreme Court’s “Brown vs. Board of Education” ruling stated: “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Even after this ruling, black Americans, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., had to fight state by state to gain equal rights. African Americans were despised, hated, and murdered, as some bigoted white Americans sought to keep the racist status quo.

On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy had to send a presidential proclamation ordering Gov. George Wallace of Alabama to comply with Federal Desegregation Laws. Wallace railed about “states rights” and southern bigots said that continued segregation was necessary because blacks could possibly attack mothers, wives, and daughters in desegregated bathrooms.

History is repeating, this time targeting transgender Americans.

In 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow discrimination against transgender people because it is a form of sex discrimination. Many states quickly codified transgender minority protections into state law, including California, to protect transgender people. Title VII and Title IX protected transgender employees and transgender students since then. These protections are not new.

Bigotry is bigotry. Recently, President Obama, like Kennedy, had to issue a guidance letter notifying states to not discriminate against transgender people on the basis of gender identity. Doing so is wholly unconstitutional. Federal Court rulings have upheld these anti-discrimination laws for years.

Transgender people are born. They can no more change from who they are than a tall person can become short or a brown-eyed person’s eyes can be made blue. When I was nearly three-years-old, my mom told me, “Come into the front room little boy.” I looked up at her and informed her, “No mommy, I girl.” She said, “You’re not a girl,” and smiled at me. I forcefully reiterated, “Mommy, I girl ... I girl mommy.”

I knew exactly what gender I was. I was female. I was born female me. It was a pervasive, culturally-perpetuated lack of understanding coupled with abuse that forced me into a phony male presentation for much of my life. Now, science has shown through MRI and EEG research that the brains of transgender men resemble and function like those of non-trans men, and the brains of transgender women resemble and function like the brains of non-trans women, yet are very different than their assigned birth parts. XY babies may become females, XX babies may become males. We’re a rare birth difference found in 1/3 of 1% of all people.

In the second trimester of development, in little boy bodies, the transgender baby’s brain doesn’t get “washed” with testosterone and remains wonderfully female. In little girl bodies the transgender baby’s brain gets unexpectedly “washed” with testosterone and changes into a wonderfully male gender brain. We are born. We know how absolutely who we are. We look into the mirror, some of us all our lives, and know that the physical confirmation of our body is completely incongruent with our true gender. We have destructive gender dysphoria that can only be lessened or eliminated by transitioning the outsides to match the brain gender on the inside. There are nearly 150 peer-reviewed scientific studies showing the biological basis of our development.

Transgender bathroom laws have become our new challenge, due to this being an election year. We were in the bathrooms last year, the year before, the decade before. No one cared. Now it’s an election year and it’s important to motivate conservative voters, so all of the sudden we are a target. There has not been a single instance of a transgender person attacking anyone in a bathroom. Not one. What these laws actually do is place transgender people in the wrong and dangerous bathroom due to “possible” sexual predation by non-transgender men.

Gun rights advocates, often conservatives, argue that law abiding people shouldn’t lose their rights due to criminals who won’t follow gun laws. The very same people are now advocating that rare, endangered transgender people can be placed in the wrong and dangerous bathrooms due to “potential” heterosexual male criminals, who also will not follow laws. The hypocrisy would be laughable if it didn’t place us in mortal danger of attack, sexual assault, rape, or violent murder.

Bathroom laws endangering innocent transgender people like me are not funny. It’s bigotry.

History repeats.

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