Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Opening The Bathroom Door

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that allows students at public schools to choose bathrooms and sports teams based upon their own gender identity.  By creating space for trans people, the law also creates space for ignoramuses and bigots.

The funniest part of all this - and you need to look for the funny in the roiling cauldron of hatred and fear - is Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council carrying on about biology (and engaging in a form of the fallacy known as "the appeal to nature"), a science he holds in disdain most of the time.

What's truly sad in all this is bigotry, ignorance, and fear get a seat at the table as some kind of principled opposition to opening up spaces in public services for trans kids.  It's bad enough they get treated poorly by other kids; having adults on television telling them they are just confused and need to get their heads straightened out I'm sure does wonders for them.

Of course, what else do we expect from people whose whole appeal is reinforcing bigotry and hate-filled nonsense around gender issues, from same-sex attraction and abortion to women's rights to near total ignorance about trans people.

 As for the whole, "What about the children?!?" argument, all I can say is - school is a place for teaching all sorts of things, including understanding people who are different.  Anyone who says that such education could violate a parents's rights is essentially insisting that parents have the right to teach bigotry, hatred, and fear.  Since part of a school's job is to get young people ready to live in a diverse society where they will encounter all sorts of people, and since such parents can take their kids out of public schools if they want, I suggest that offer be made rather than insist that schools reinforcing on-going marginalization of trans people.

Any time a community, state, or nation opens itself to the different ways people live their lives, we should celebrate that.  As for the hate- and ignorance-mongers, rather than give them a seat at the table, it would be far better to just call them out and move on.

Virtual Tin Cup

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