Putting Transgender Bathroom Bills Into Perspective

The true narrative:

I don’t want me or my child to have to be uncomfortable in a public restroom, when a man, who used to be a woman, comes in to pee, or the other way around. When people are different from me, I’m scared.

The fake narrative:

A straight pedophile or rapist will attack me in the bathroom, dressing as the opposite sex, just to do this terrible deed.

A picture of a person who will now walk into your female bathrooms, causing your delicate flower constitutions to necessitate the vapors:


Didn’t think about that now, did you? No. You just thought that women-looking women would now be forced to use the female bathroom and…go ahead and fill in the blank.



  1. Siobhan says

    This isn’t necessarily the best way to make the argument. “Passing” trans folk aren’t really going to be targets for obvious reasons–it’s the people who can’t or choose not to “pass” that are prosecuted by these ludicrous laws. Better to focus on the fact that rapists already have a host of tools to escape the consequences of their actions, and claiming to be trans is definitely not a tactic that has ever got someone off the hook.

    • Andy Semler says

      Seconded. As a trans person, *please* stop making our appearance central to the discussion of our safety.

      • Vivec says

        Well, speaking as a trans person well, I personally like this sort of argument. It’s pretty much just a reductio ad absurdum. Even if there was this threat of bathroom predation, this bill would do nothing to fix it.

        If the law is going to mandate that very masculine-looking afab trans people have to use the women’s restroom, it defeats the whole argument that “men will just put on dresses to sneak in”.

        Why would they have to bother with the dresses, when the fellow in the picture looks the same as your average cis dude? The law is literally unenforceable without inspecting everyone’s genitals and would, if anything, make it easier for some cis dude to gain entry to the women’s restroom.

  2. Travis Chandler says

    The rule of fear has an astounding, and dare I say, growing power in the US. There is a disheartening tendency towards relying on base rhetoric and emotional appeal, flying in the face of logic, reason, and research when it comes to our self-governance. Having said that, allow me to continue the trend for a moment in saying this: When people go to the bathroom, it’s usually to go to the bathroom, not hunt up unsuspecting children to club over the head and drag off to sexually brutalize. It continually astounds me that the Abrahamic god could be completely nonplussed to traipse around day and night with Adam and Eve in the buff yet be so insistent upon modesty when it comes to common biological function in the 21st century. Perhaps the ultimate irony (and the last cheap shot I’ll take here, I promise) would be that the religious community (I’m happy that I’m exaggerating in lumping them in together here, knowing that there are a good number of sensible believers out there in regard to social issues) is so fervently up-in-arms about the fear of sexual assault of children in the bathroom from people who have no established propensity towards carrying out the crime for which they are being deemed guilty, yet are so silent and complacent in the face of the fact that the institution from which many of them derive their beliefs has been shown, time and again, to be guilty of the very thing they fear.

  3. says

    Fanatical bigots need to answer a simple question:

    How am I a “threat to women and girls in bathrooms” when I am sexually attracted to adult men?

    Many people, myself included, become heterosexual after transition. I fail to see the “danger” I pose by going into the proper washroom. Even if a person who transitions is now lesbian or gay, how are they a “threat”? Or is the far right implying (probably) that both cisgender and transgender gay and lesbian people are predators? (The only threat that I pose to ciswomen is stealing their boyfriends, but toilets are not the place for doing that.)

    While I’m not angry as other commenters are, I do agree with them in that it doesn’t help to present “passing” and “body beautiful” as the norm or only acceptable appearance. Most (including me) don’t, can’t, and/or don’t want to conform to it. I look and dress more like Samantha Denning than Janet Mock, and I don’t care what others think of my appearance. Being happy is what matters, not how people look.

  4. Siobhan says

    Maybe if I flip Vivec’s argument around, y’all will see why it’s still problematic:

    If the law is going to mandate that very feminine-looking amab trans people have to use the men’s restroom, it defeats the whole argument that “men will just put on dresses to sneak in”.

    Problem: AMABs who cannot or choose not to pass are not served by arguing that “you’ll have feminine women in the men’s room, this is madness!!” because they are already perceived as men.

    There’s a reason you don’t see as many AMABs trying to pull this bathroom selfie stunt…

    • Vivec says

      Problem: AMABs who cannot or choose not to pass are not served by arguing that “you’ll have feminine women in the men’s room, this is madness!!” because they are already perceived as men.

      I disagree, and I think that argument serves me just fine, tyvm.

      The bill isn’t based on some panic of women sneaking into the men’s restroom, and while I definitely don’t think it’s solely about the “cis dudes might dress like women to sneak a peak” thing, I think that’s the most cited reasoning for it.

      Pointing out that this law fails to actually address the reason they give, and would in fact worsen that percieved problem is a perfectly valid reductio

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