One of the most debated topics in America right now is the bathroom policy. There are a lot of aspects to this question, but the debate basically boils down to: Should there be gender-neutral bathrooms and/or should everyone, no matter their sex or gender, be allowed to use whatever bathroom they chose? In order to address this matter correctly, we must be familiar with the vocabulary that goes along with this issue.
When referring to sex, that means the certain genitalia someone has. Gender refers to what gender someone identifies as, or what gender they feel like they are, regardless of the genitalia. This could be male or female, but it could also be genderqueer, agender, etc. A transgender (trans) male is someone who was born with female genitalia, but identifies as a male. A transgender (trans) female is the same as a transgender male, except the other way around. A transsexual male or female is someone who had to get a sex reassignment surgery to switch their genitalia. All of the aforementioned identities are part of the LGBTQ community. A gender-neutral bathroom is one that has the accommodations to suit the needs of both sexes, and is open to everyone.
When someone mentions the bathroom issue, most people think of the bills passed in North Carolina. The first bill required that people use the bathroom the coordinated with the sex listed on their birth certificate. The second bill that was passed was meant to repeal this, but instead it only pushed the problem down to local governments. This doesn’t protect trans people, as local governments have different policies. A solution needs to be made at the federal level.
The federal legislators should pass a law that requires all facilities to have at least one gender-neutral bathroom available. A member of Congress needs to write up a bill that will protect trans people across America. Then, someone needs to convince a majority of members of Congress to pass the bill. Then, we have to hope that the president agrees with Congress enough to sign the bill and make it a law. However, there will be people that oppose this. Even though it helps a large number of oppressed people, there are people who don’t like trans people, so they don’t want trans people to have rights. Unfortunately, some of these people are in positions of power, like in Congress, so a bill to give trans people more rights might not be passed in Congress.
For a bill like the one I am proposing, we have to depend on Congress to pass the bill. If the president vetoes it, then at least we got it to his attention. If the bill fails in Congress, then this very important issue is never even brought to the attention of the president. I don’t think a bill like this would be very likely to succeed. While society is a lot more accepting of the LGBTQ community, there is still some prejudice that we have to overcome. I don’t believe that there are any members of Congress that are openly part of the LGBTQ community, so that a lack of personal experience may prevent this type of bill from becoming a law. Many people probably brush this issue off. “It’s just a bathroom,” they might say. However, for trans people it is much more than that. The bathroom issue is about them feeling comfortable with who they are. For example, a transgender male may not be welcome in a men’s bathroom because their sex is female. The same may go for transgender females. The bathroom issue is about not making people choose which gender they identify with. It is about the basic human right of going to the bathroom without being judged for it. In order to raise the likely hood of this bill being passed, we should try to have the members of Congress walk a mile in the shoes of those who face a problem like having to choose between being comfortable and being safe. Maybe if those in positions of power feel what it is like to have to decide that, then we can get a very important bill like this passed. Laws about the bathroom issue have only been at the state level, but not at the federal level. I believe that no needed change will come from leaving this decision up to the state or local government. The federal government needs to step in and require that all facilities in America have at least one gender-neutral bathroom.