Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Do I Look Like I Belong in Here?

Content note: bathroom bills, transmisogyny, violation of boundaries (any others?)

I don't like the men's restrooms because I'm not a man, I’m nonbinary. I am familiar with the women's restrooms, but I'm not a woman, and I raise far too many suspicions in there now for my comfort anyway. I have gotten very skilled at finding single-user restrooms wherever I go, but I use the men's room now if it's urgent and carry myself with the confidence of a mediocre white man in a generally successful attempt to blend in.

I’m disturbed by a trend lately, where men gleefully plot for (or at least dream about) pushing themselves into women's restrooms to get kicked out, sometimes posting selfies, and then "surprise! I have a vagina because I'm trans!" It's supposed to "disprove" oppressive bathroom bills, by showing that they don't belong in women’s restrooms because they "look like a man".

The problem is that this harms women. Many trans women are suspected of "looking like a man" and that's why these laws are being passed in the first place. Plus, at its most basic this is an example of men forcing their way past [trans and cis] women’s stated boundaries. What if masculinity were used for justice instead of violence?

To the white boys out there interrupting the conversation with your “but what about?”: There's a key difference between "using the women's restroom to get noticed" and "using the women's restroom to avoid being noticed". I understand as well as any trans person that as long as restrooms are segregated, none of us are really safe. But please join me in working against transmisogyny in our words and actions.

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