Flash back twenty (or even ten) years ago, and recall the narrow-minded arguments made against the advancement of gay, lesbian and bisexual rights: Children will be endangered! Public bathrooms will become sex-crazed free-for-alls! The religious freedoms of law-abiding Christians will be compromised! Over time, each and every one of those arguments has proven false, but now we’re hearing those same arguments again… only this time against trans people. At least our enemies are recycling?
“But what about the children?!”
Remember when every gay man was going to molest a hundred kids and turn them into gay sex slaves? When lobbying against marriage equality right-wingers routinely claimed that gay men are more likely to be pedophiles;so-called family values types long argued that children shouldn’t be exposed to same-sex parents and LGB adults, because it’ll confuse them and stunt their development.
The new version of this idiocy argues that anti-discrimination laws would allow transgender pedophiles to lurk in public restrooms, where any teenage girl might fall victim to a predatory man in a dress pretending to be a trans woman. Nevermind that there’s no evidence from any law enforcement entity anywhere that this actually happens. Then again, fear-mongering is rarely based on reality.
“How can I feel safe in the restroom?!”
Most people feel pretty vulnerable in public bathrooms — after all, they just wanna pee in peace. But while some folks use public restrooms as hook-up sites, the idea that LGBT folks will use restrooms to try sneak a peek at some same-sex genitalia (or force other users into non-consensual sex) is beyond dumb. Here’s the indisputable truth: Only psychos wants to spy on you and assault you while you’re dropping a deuce, and trans people most likely feel way more uncomfortable and vulnerable than you in public restrooms.
“If we legalize this, what’s going to happen next?!”
The slippery slope of a Pandora’s Box is an easy argument to make. Way back when Massachusetts was the only state with marriage equality, you’d hear this all the time: “If we allow gay people to marry, they’re going to want to marry a box turtle next,” or “If we allow gay people to marry, what’s to stop them from marrying children next?”
Yeah, well that never happened because NOBODY WANTS TO MARRY HOUSEPETS AND INFANTS. Nevertheless, right-wing pundits are making the same arguments about trans rights. “If people can decide their own gender, what will they decide next — that they’re a dog??!” Perhaps the right-wing thinks trans-rights are our last protection against human-animal hybrids — do right-wingers harbor secret fantasies of being bald eagle-hybrids? PATRIOTISM!!!
“But what about my religious freedom?!”
Some Christian politicians love claiming that their religious freedoms are being trampled whenever someone asks them to do something that they don’t feel like do their taxpayer-funded jobs or bake a cake or anything they don’t wanna do at that exact moment. Before marriage equality became the law of the land, fearmongering evangelicals like the so-called National Organization for Marriage argued that same-sex marriage would force priests and ministers to carry on same-sex marriages against their will, when the law never suggested anything of the sort.
Unfortunately, right-wing media groups now make celebrities out of every lazybones that doesn’t feel like delivering a pizza, and the same tactics are being used against trans people. Do trans students inherently violate the religious liberty of their classmates? Will churches be required to build gender-neutral restrooms? Even if they did, would that have an impact on anyone else who happened to share a classroom or a workspace with them? No, no, and hell no.
Isn’t it funny how some people use the word “freedom” to mean the exact opposite of freedom?