California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed AB1266 into law. This groundbreaking bill will allow transgender youth to use whatever bathroom, locker room and sports team they feel matches their gender. If you’ve ever read any of my articles, you know that I staunchly support LGBT rights. But I’m really not sure if this bill is a step forward, backwards, or sideways.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a real problem that needs a solution. It’s hard enough for transgender youth to feel comfortable in their own skin let alone feel comfortable around their peers. I feel that society’s evolving view of the LGBT community (especially amongst the young) will work this problem out over time. Most kids are very accepting of the LGBT community and trying to legislate public perception stands to backfire. This bill has been met with immediate praise by the LGBT community who are excited to celebrate any victory nowadays since they were very hard to come by in the past. Many have described this as a way for transgender youth to feel “more comfortable” at school and “reduce bullying”. But I have to question the reality of that…
First of all, how does labeling yourself as “different” ever make you feel more comfortable, especially in your teenage years? This topic has put these kids in the spotlight and that often leads to more bullying, not less. Secondly, how long do you think it will take for some high school boy to completely exploit this? Here’s what I mean… when I was in high school I played sports (poorly, but good enough to make the team) and I did my best to get anywhere near a naked woman (I did poorly at that as well). Can you imagine if I had the chance to play on the girls’ team and hangout in the girls’ locker room? I would have been the star of the team and around naked woman all the time! I would have been willing to declare myself as pretty much anything to get that privilege. Heck, I probably would have gotten a college scholarship as one of the best “female” athletes in the state! This would have fulfilled several teenage fantasies I had, but it would also be completely wrong… but totally possible & legal.
My daughter is 7 years old and we live in California, which means she could be a victim of this scam and that doesn’t sit well with me. Neither does the idea of her being in a locker room with a boy her age, even if he’s legitimately transgender. Sexual orientation and / or gender issues are a topic that has to be verbalized, but anatomy is a visual thing and that shouldn’t be forced on a minor.
As much as I wish we could legislate away all the problems the LGBT community has, I think this latest attempt may be a misfire. Society has come a long way in recent years on the topic of LGBT rights & acceptance. So let’s not get greedy and create a situation where one problem leads to several others. Doing so only stands to undo some of our recent gains. Patience will lead to more acceptance and that will do more to solve this problem than AB1266 ever could.
While you wait for that to continue unfolding… ya’ gotta shake what your mama gave ya’! Boy parts put you on the boys’ team and girl parts put you in the girls’ locker room. Once you’ve had the procedure to change your parts, you can change teams. That may sound “unfair”, but if you’re part of the small percentage of people that identify themselves as transgender, you got dealt an “unfair” hand the day you were born. You might have to meet society half way on this one. Asking everyone to let underage kids of the opposite sex shower together might be over playing your hand.