"Transgender students across the globe are not looking for a compromise, they are looking to use their right as a human to use whatever bathroom they feel most comfortable in."
After being sworn into presidency in January 2017, President Donald Trump has made some debatable changes to the country. One of the most controversial revisions made by Trump has been his withdrawal from the transgender issue regarding restroom usage. President Trump has made many comments about the rights of the LGBT+ community, especially during his presidency campaign during 2016. He was the first Republican nominee to address the LGBT+ community, promising he would protect them from ‘violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.’ However, the lack of support on the transgender bathroom issue shows where his priorities land. If Trump truly wants equal rights and protection for not only the LGBT+ community, but for the country aswell, he will stand up for transgender bathroom rights.
The issue of transgender bathroom rights has been going on for years now, but it is just now reaching public coverage thanks to a student in Virginia named Gavin Grimm. The 17 year old was identified as a female at birth, but around his teenage years is when he came out as a male. Since this, he has been taking hormone supplements and has had his birth certificate legally changed to say he is a male. The debate began when Grimm requested to use the boy’s restroom at his school. The school board said he was not allowed to use the boy’s restroom, but they will allow him to use a private, unisex bathroom. While the compromise is valid, transgender students across the globe are not looking for a compromise, they are looking to use their right as a human to use whatever bathroom they feel most comfortable in. It is ridiculous that this issue is still being debated in the ‘land of the free.’ President Trump’s comments about this issue have been vague, but essentially he is saying he wants to withdraw his executive decision in the matter. The Trump Administration wants to leave the issue of transgender bathrooms up to the states to decide. This would mean that each state has the decision to vote on whether they want to allow transgender students to use the bathroom their gender identifies with. The Trump Administration claims that the withdrawal does not leave students without protections from discrimination, bullying, or harassment. However, by having a president who is ‘neutral’ to the decision pushes transgender students to feel helpless in the fight for their own rights. How is one supposed to resist bullies and oppressors when their own president does not stand with them?
Those who disagree with the transgender bathroom rule claim that by allowing people who identify as the opposite gender on their birth certificate to use whichever bathroom they please will cause problems. The biggest issue opposers have is the idea that transgender bathroom rights will grant an increase in sexual assault. This concept is easily refuted, as it has been debunked many times within the past year. Researchers at Media Matters have contacted 12 states with protections for trans people in order to contradict the claim, and all said that they have yet to see any increase in sex crimes. The myth that transgender policies will allow for an increase in sexual predators is based on a foundation of institutional oppression.
When President Trump turns a blind eye to the conflicts transgender students and people across the country face, he is discrediting his ability to protect all citizens. Although he did make previous claims to support the LGBT+ community, he is now contradicting his beliefs. If he wants to keep the country safe from oppression, he will allow people their right to use the bathroom their gender corresponds with.