I Can’t Believe We’re Still Fighting for this Shit

Yesterday a six-year-old girl won the right to pee in a girl’s bathroom.  ”WTF is this even news?” you might be asking.  Because apparently the fact that Coy Mathis is a trans girl changes things entirely.  The story was all over Facebook yesterday and the comments were filled with some indifference, some acceptance, and a lot of hatred.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

these children wouldn’t know what the hell any of this was if it were pushed and accepted in this perverted ass Amerikkkan society. you a boy and you like pink. you better go find something blue. Amerikkka is a pile of shit.

I have no idea why you insist on not only supporting but promoting sexual deviant behavior… surly your not angling to see a video of this! You sick sick puppy.

My 3 year old niece thought she was a kitten for about a year or so. Kids that young don’t know what gender is, let alone what gender they should be. No hate here, but my immediate impression is that the parents are either pushing this on the kid or indulging typical childish silliness in a way that can seriously damage him psychologically.

Who looks at this little girl and thinks, “Something sinister must be afoot”? Only assholes.

Who looks at this little girl and thinks, “Something sinister must be afoot”? Only assholes.

There is so much cissexual privilege here that I don’t know where to begin.  Why is it that every time a story about a trans kid comes out, it’s immediately followed by cries of denial.  As though this kid doesn’t have any means of expressing herself and is just being blindly tricked into being trans.  You don’t see insistence that other kids parents are just pushing a cissexual identity onto their kid (even though that’s exactly what these people are doing).  You don’t see claims that kids who identify as cis are sick in the head.  Nobody claims that cis identified kids are crazy, or duped, or delusional.  Why?  Because these people think cis is the default, natural god-given position rather than simply the most common.  Are you a man who’s happy with your penis? Congratulations!  This fucking conversation is not about you.  The fact that you believe your experience of gender is universal shows just how little you know about the world.

So easy a child can understand it.

So easy a child can understand it.

Gender identity cannot be changed or forced or twisted.  The fact that Coy identifies as a girl is static.  The fact that she wears dresses is a product of what our culture says people who identify as girls should wear.  They are not related.  And Coy dressing in a way that makes her comfortable has nothing to do with her sexuality.  Gender Identity is not Gender Expression is not Sexual Orientation.  These are not new concepts.  Whenever you see a masculine gay man or a feminine lesbian or a butch straight woman or a femme straight man, those are all examples of ways the three components of sexuality and gender do not “match”.  Nobody can force a child who identifies as a girl to identify as a boy.  But that’s exactly what these people want to do, simply because the parts between her legs at birth make them uncomfortable.  Coy’s parents are not scheduling her for SRS, they’re not putting her on hormones, they’re not doing anything permanent on the off chance that Coy might change her mind.  All she’s doing is presenting as a girl, using female pronouns, and doing all the same stuff that other girls her age do.  So just in case your dream comes true and Coy does identify as a boy later on, no harm has been done.  She’s got her whole damn life to figure that out, so why don’t you let her and her parents worry about what future steps they take?

For those who are concerned about what other kids will think, they probably won’t think much of anything unless you tell them to.  When I transitioned years ago I was working at a comic shop.  There were tons of kids I saw on a regular basis.  I became good friends with one couple and their kid in particular.  I watched their daughter grow from a baby to a kindergartner.  Hell, I even babysat her for them.  Do you want to know how she reacted to my transition?

Dori, why are you dressed like a girl?

Because I am one.

Oh.  Okay.  Can I play with these Legos?

It really is that simple.  Kids don’t give a shit about the ramifications of gender norms.  They don’t care about what you had between your legs when you were born.  They just want to play with Legos.

And speaking of discomfort, let’s go ahead and address the same stupid fear mongering I hear whenever we talk about trans people and bathrooms.

First, there’s the concern that trans women and girls, who are all imagined to be pre-op or non-op for some reason, will flash our genitals at cis women and girls.  But guess what?  Our reasons for using the bathroom are the same as cis women.  To relieve our bladders and bowels, to wash our hands, to check our hair and makeup in the mirror, to accompany friends, whatever.  We don’t go in there so we can show a part of our body that most are mortified about to strangers.  Sorry to burst your fantasy.

Now that’s a REAL bathroom predator!

Now that’s a REAL bathroom predator!

Second, there’s the concern that trans women will physically or sexually assault cis women.  Well, I have news for you.  Trans women don’t assault cis women in bathrooms, but there have been plenty ofcis people who’ve assaulted trans women.  Probably because of some sense of entitlement.  Hmm, what would that sort of mentality be called?  I feel like I already discussed it earlier.  It’s almost like a privileged majority are ganging up on an unrepresented minority.  Oh well, I’m sure I’ll think of the word for it later.  Did I mention that we have an entire day set aside to remember the hundreds of trans people killed by cis people?  And that we’re one of the biggest targets for hate crimes?  No?  I probably should have.

Third, there’s a myth that if trans people can pee in peace, it will somehow give predators an excuse to sneak into restrooms to assault without recourse.  Well, I don’t know if you realized this, but you can still press charges against someone for assault even if you give trans people basic human rights.  Because, you know, assault will still be illegal.  It seems kind of silly to restrict basic human rights for a whole group of people because you’re afraid of a hypothetical situation.  But what do I know?  I’m just an angry tranny.

And finally, you can’t force trans people to use gender-neutral bathrooms if they don’t want to.  Remember that whole separate-but-equal thing we struck down a long time ago?  Yeah, turns out that’s unconstitutional.  By all means, we should make gender-neutral bathrooms more common because a lot of people prefer gender-neutral bathrooms.  And not just trans people!  The “family” bathrooms in many malls and movie theaters are a lifesaver for parents who have kids of different genders.  Most of Europe has gender-neutral bathrooms and they don’t seem to be experiencing chaos about it.

Finally, I want to say something to the trans readers out there who may be concerned about all this.  Do not ask for permission to use a bathroom.  That’s weird.  Nobody else does it, so why should you?  Rights are not something you ask for, because that only gives someone an opportunity to say, “No.”  Rights are something you expect and, if necessary, take.  So don’t ask your boss or principal if you can use the appropriate bathroom.  Just do it.  I’ve been to the girls room with butch women, early transitioners, drag queens, whatever.  Confidence is key.  Just act like you belong there, because you do.

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