The Controversy of Transgender Bathrooms

The Controversy of Transgender Bathrooms

Recently there has been much controversy on the issue of bathroom choice for transgender people.  There have been arguments of whether a transgender person has to go into the bathroom of the gender they were born with or the gender they identify as.  

Currently there is no law in Kentucky that states anything about what bathroom a transgender person has to use. However, a few other states have such a law, such as North Carolina, whose law states a transgender person must use the bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificate.  

While that law is for every bathroom, many high schools students all over the country have stressed their wishes to be able to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as, but the school board bans them from doing so.  

A Virginia lawmaker’s latest legislation has received a lot of backlash, which follows two bills that prevent any transgender person from using the bathroom that is not of their birth gender, it states: “Any person/student who willfully and knowingly violates this section shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $50.” This money would go to the state’s Literary Fund.  

Businesses are also putting in their input on the issue.  Target released a statement saying, “The company welcomes transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”

Kentucky has been battling to pass a bill similar to North Carolina, but it deals with students.  As of February of last year, the bill failed and then was revived.  Henry Brousseau, a junior at Louisville Collegiate School, a transgender student who has identified himself as a male for the past three years, said about the topic, “This is a step back in terms of moving our society forward to really include everybody.”  This is what he told the committee when the bill was thought to have failed.  

When it was revived, the committee got to hear from a student who favors the legislation. Christina Kelty, a sophomore at Atherton High School, which last year began allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their sexual identity, said, “My school’s policy places the rights of one transgender student over the rights of many girls.”  

Afterwards, the bill was voted on again and was passed to the senate floor. Currently the bill has not been made a law and reports have stated that Kentucky has a transgender law that is “pending.”

This issue may seem like it doesn’t connect to Greenwood or even a high school, but many of the incidents that have come up involve high school students.  What’s to say this issue won’t come up at Greenwood in the future?  

There are two sides to the argument, both which have valid reasoning.  One must understand both sides fully to see why this is such a huge topic for some people.  People who are transgender want to be able to use the bathroom they identify with because if they choose to identify as another gender, why should they use a bathroom that doesn’t match that?  It can lead to uncomfortable situations for them.  

People on the opposing side mainly argue on the bad things that can happen if this is allowed.  A lot of fathers stress their concern for a man, who identifies as a woman, in the same bathroom as their daughters and the danger that can bring.  

When looking at the topic, at least see where both sides are coming from and their reasoning behind their opinion.  Just because you may not agree with what that person thinks, it doesn’t make them wrong or not valid in their reasoning.  Whatever side you choose and your reasons behind it is up to you.