Transgender Students Using School Bathrooms Aren't Threats, You're Just Transphobic

Transgender Students Using School Bathrooms Aren't Threats, You're Just Transphobic

Students of all genders deserve the same amount of dignity and respect.

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Being able to use the bathroom of the gender I identify as without having to worry about being threatened for it is a privilege that I often take for granted as a cisgender person. I am reminded of this privilege whenever I read the stories of transgender people, like Maddie from Oklahoma.

Maddie, a 12-year-old transgender girl, became the target of violent threats from multiple students' parents that go to her middle school all because she had decided to use the girls' bathroom. She had previously been using the staff bathroom for two years, but since she was placed in a new building for her first day of seventh grade, she did not know where the staff bathrooms were, so she decided to use the girls' bathroom instead. This caused a massive uproar in a Facebook group of the students' parents where many of them posted dehumanizing comments.

Jamie Crenshaw, a parent in the Facebook group, started the attacks towards Maddie by writing a post saying:

"The transgender is already using the girls bathroom. We have been told how the school has gone above and beyond to make sure he has his own restroom yet he is still using the girls. REALLY.... Looks like it's gonna be a long year."

Crenshaw's husband then shared a screenshot of her post on his Facebook page, which led to even more horrifying comments.

Maddie should not have to resort to using her own personal bathroom in order to appease the parents of her school. She is just like any other girl that uses the girls' bathroom and she should feel safe enough to use it as she pleases. Her gender identity does not make her a threat, nor is it the only thing that defines her. Seeing Crenshaw refer to Maddie as "the transgender" is vile because it proves that she does not respect Maddie enough to call her by her name, so she uses the word transgender as a label of contempt.

Crenshaw's behavior was already despicable enough, but other adults from outside of the district took it even further by calling Maddie "this thing" and a "half-baked maggot." There was also a comment left where an adult encouraged the other students at Maddie's school to beat her up if she tried to use the girls' bathroom so that she would avoid using it in the future. Another adult even threatened to mutilate Maddie by saying:

"If he wants to be a female make him a female. A good sharp knife will do the job really quick."

These disgusting posts were eventually seen by transgender activists that decided to write to the superintendent and organize a protest at the school. The district responded by canceling all classes on August 13 and 14 in order to protect the students from potential demonstrations from groups opposing the activists.

This alone proves just how idiotic all of those posts from the parents really are. They believed they were protecting their children and the other students by bullying Maddie, but really what they accomplished was the exact opposite. I refuse to believe that a 12-year-old girl using the bathroom is a threat to anyone. Transphobia is much more dangerous, and thanks to all of those Facebook posts, those parents were practically inviting transphobic protestors to their children's school.

I still cannot wrap my mind around how a group of adults can justify bullying a young girl. Maddie was treated as if she was a monster that would harm the other students when the only monsters were actually the grown adults trying to intimidate a 12-year-old girl for using the bathroom. Adults are supposed to set the example for children to follow, but these past few years I have seen more children and teenagers being open-minded and inclusive to transgender people than adults. It is time for adults to catch up and realize that transgender students are not a threat to cisgender students. They deserve to be treated with the same amount of dignity and respect as anyone else.

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A Letter to the High School Senior Ready to Graduate

You are nearing the end.
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Dear Senior,

Congrats! You are nearing the end; you have finally made it through the four years you never thought would end. You made it through the dress codes, the late night cramming, the endless extra-curriculars and so much more that made your high school experience unique.

You persevered through the classes where you learned material you knew you would never use again, as well as the early morning classes you never wanted to wake up for. You made it through the drama you thought for sure ruined your life as well as the heartbreak that made you not want to walk the halls again.

These moments are almost gone and in the past, and I am certain you are so excited to leave the place where everyone knows who you are. As the days become numbered, you look forward to independence and a college where you can start all over.

I know you are excited for the future, but please remember what you are leaving behind.

You have passed your last Friday night football game. The next time you return to that stadium, you will be watching from the stands in a different atmosphere. You are coming up on your last dance. You will never shop for a dress that makes you feel beautiful or ask the girl of your dreams to dance with you again.

You won’t be in the student section cheering on your team with your best friends again. You won’t dress up for homecoming again. You won’t be a part of a team with your best friends. All these moments that went by so fast, so quick you didn’t even take time to realize it was your last, are gone.

Soon you will walk out of your high school hallway for the last time as a student. You will empty your locker that you shared with your best friend, who is probably going to some school hours away from you. You will finish your final test with the teacher you hated but they took the time to know your name. You will return your books, your computer, and say goodbye.

Then you will open the doors, so excited to leave the place you called hell on multiple occasions. Perhaps in this moment you will realize that this school will never be the same.

You are now an alumni, and you will never be the same walking in those hallways the way you were for four whole years. You are no longer a student, upperclassman, teammate or friend. Everything changes the moment you walk through those doors.

Soon you will walk across the stage, accept your diploma and say you did it. At that moment, look around. There are so many people you will never see again. The person you did countless projects with is going across the country and might never come back.

The person who lapped you in the mile is now going into the military, and you have no idea when you will see them again. The friends you spent endless Saturday nights with are leaving too. The people you grew up with, the ones who knew your birthday and favorite subject, won’t surround you.

Perhaps you find comfort in leaving familiarity, but remember that these moments are your last. Appreciate them, because when fall comes, everything will change.

You will leave your parents, your pets, your siblings. You are packing 18 years of your life into boxes as you try to gauge how much clothing you’ll need to bring because you have no idea when you’ll be home next.

You are leaving homemade meals and short drives to places you love. You are leaving everything you have ever known. Your parents will go back home, and you will be stuck alone at a place you now have to live at for the next few years of your life.

Professors won’t remember your name after the first semester. You will cry because you changed your major for the third time in four weeks. You have to choose classes that determine your future. Your parents won’t be there for you when you are sick. Your friends won’t be there when you have no one to eat with. You won’t have time to free read or think beyond the realms of school. You will constantly be buried in homework and anxiety. You have to rebuild yourself, by yourself.

So, senior, when you are so ready to go, please take a moment to realize what you are leaving behind. You will not get these moments back. The last dance, test, lunch, game, tailgate – appreciate them. College is amazing and filled with memories, but do not rush these last few weeks; you will never get them back.

The future will come soon enough. As you prepare for “firsts,” you are also approaching your “lasts” – embrace them please.

Sincerely,

College Student

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What It Means To Be Nonbinary, From 5 People For Whom It Is A Reality

The future isn't binary.

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Until college, I had never met anyone who did not identify with the gender they were given at birth. When I met my first friend who was nonbinary, I had a lot of questions.

Not wanting to be disrespectful, I kept a lot of them to myself, but after reflection, I realized that I would rather ask questions and be informed in order to respect my friends.

Recently, when the topic of being nonbinary has come up in conversation, I realized that a lot of people I know ignore it because they are confused by it. I find that completely ignorant. There is no excuse not to respect how your fellow humans identify.

I decided to write this article to spread awareness and help people understand what it means to be nonbinary. I am not nonbinary myself, but I have many friends who identify as nonbinary. It is not a phase or a trend, and they are real people.

When you google "nonbinary," this is what comes up:

Everyone expresses gender differently, so that is why I decided to interview a few of my friends in order to get a full understanding. Gender, just like sexuality, has no right or wrong answer. It is a spectrum.

A few of my friends have taken new names, which means that the name that was assigned to them at birth is now their "dead" name.

(Some of the interviewees are not publicly out, so I am writing under a fake name for them!)**

I hope this has given you a better understanding of what nonbinary is. Just remember to be kind and respectful of one another.

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