Stop, just stop

I wrote this in the throes of my ire immediately after reading the below Tweet and associated article , back on February 6, 2015. I deliberately let it sit, thinking I should edit it later after I’d calmed down and thought about it rationally. Well, a month later, I’m still pissed off about it and I think this needs to be said, even if it is snarky and inelegant.
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Article link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/florida-bill-would-criminalize-transgender-people-using-sing?s=mobile

Whether or not the phasing in this tweet was intentional, the message is devastating: *trans people themselves, not a behavior or any specific act, but the person, is being criminalized.

Think about that a moment. What a diabolical notion: it is against the law for you to exist as the person you are in this place.

How incredibly destructive, isolating and unnecessary is such a thought, let alone the legislation that incited the tweet.

Now, to be transparent, if you read the article you see that the proposed bill is, in fact, targeted at an act: using a single-sex bathroom for a sex to which the person was not assigned at birth. But it amounts to the same thing for those who have transitioned or are in transition: it is illegal for them to exist in that space in that condition.

And for what? Purportedly to promote safety and privacy of others using that facility.

Again, stop and think a moment. The bill relies on language very similar to the language used in the Americans with Disabilities Act, focusing on places of public accommodation and identifying a class of beneficiaries for the bill’s protections. Only this bill turns that laudable goal on its head by not targeting the most vulnerable and least represented minority for protection. Rather, this bill focuses on the vast majority of people, some of whom are arguably the most privileged in our society: everyone who is of the same biological sex as they were assigned at birth.

Quick recap: A Florida politician took the time and effort to draft and introduce a bill that punishes the most vulnerable and marginalized in society for the horrible crime of making someone in the most privileged class feel uncomfortable in a public space.

Stop it. Just. Stop.

No one has a fundamental right to never feel discomfort with the unknown, the new, the different, the nonconforming. The constitution doesn’t guarantee that you’ll never have to confront your own privilege and prejudice and learn to get along with others different from you.

The insidious destructive power of this kind of stupidity is astounding. Consolidating and securing more rights for the already privileged by means of criminalizing the most vulnerable people on the margins of society does absolutely nothing to solve any societal challenge. Rather, by pandering to the irrational insecurity of the bigoted, privileged few, allowing them to avoid having to share public accommodations with ALL of the public, those in greatest need of protection in public accommodations and from governmental oppression are shunted aside and criminalized.

Just for having the temerity to use a public restroom to pee in relative comfort & privacy.

Get over yourselves. Seriously.

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