Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bathroom Liberation Front

Nearly a year ago, on my 27th birthday, I wrote a post celebrating the Supreme Court decision to essentially legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. I used the event to remind myself, in the haze of my annual birthday depression, that even in fucked up little Amerikkka, good things come to those who wait. After decades of discrimination, humiliation, violence, disease and repression, the queer community in this country that I've come to see as a kind of extended family of proud misfits finally had a bright, shining victory to celebrate for all the heartache and backbreaking hard work and it felt like a victory for the whole fucking country. One that gave me hope when I needed it most. We had witnessed true radical change in this country for the first time in a very long time and it felt good, damn good. The people had come together and together we were heavy.

Unfortunately, like most great moments of cataclysmic change in this country, it came with a price. One step forward and two steps back. And those steps were to be taken on the backs of the queer communities most vulnerable minority and the one nearest to my heart. Those fine folks at fag-basher's INC. set there sights on the trans+ community and set there phasers to kill. What transpired and sadly continues to transpire is not legislation or even a backlash. It's revenge. Our happiness angered the gods of hate and they demanded blood.

They got it over the last year as a slew of states across the Bible Belt got busy creating legislation that targeted queer people under the guise of defending small business' and civil servant's right to discriminate as long as they invoked the name of god to do so (they always do) giving everyone from bakers to pissed off crazy cat ladies like that bitch Kim Davis the ability to deny services to gay couples. But that was just the proverbial lubricant. The real dick in the ass came with the anti-trans+ bathroom laws.

They differ slightly from state to state but they all follow a similar line of thought, if you can call it that. In order to protect the delicate sensibilities of our precious daughters from the off possibility of seeing a wiener (GASP!) women's bathrooms had to be policed by laws that barred anyone born with a prick from entering them. Now, aside from the fact that these laws are totally unenforceable, which I'll get to shortly, they seem designed and marketed to humiliate, dehumanize and demonize a minority that already suffers from more gruesome brutality then any other. The vile commercials for these campaigns routinely go out of there way to paint transgender people and trans-women in particular as depraved sexual predators only interested in using public restrooms as a hunting ground to prey on young children. They did everything but invoke the name of Buffalo Bill.

These laws weren't designed to be effective. As stated above, there totally unenforceable unless your going to put an armed state trooper at every fucking rest stop to check peoples birth certificates at the door like a goddamn bouncer. No, these laws are designed with only one purpose in mind and that is to unleash a witch-hunt style wave of persecution against transgender and genderqueer individuals which can only end in violence. I'm not being hyperbolic here. The letter of these laws is written word for word by "faith" based, designated hate groups like the Liberty Council. These laws are about hate, pure and simple. There is no room to mince words on this. There is yet to be a single, solitary recorded case of a trans+ person assaulting anyone in a public restroom. Yet over 70% of polled transgender people report having experienced traumatizing encounters in public restrooms. Many of those incidents include violence and even rape. Many of these victims are trans+ kids who also experience record shattering rates of suicide, largely because campaigns like this make them feel like loveless monsters. But I guess those precious daughters don't fucking matter to all the fine Christian folk at the Liberty Council. Well, they fucking matter to me. To quote Throwing Muses- They can no longer move and I can no longer be still.

To be clear, I may be some yet to be defined variant of genderqueer (still figuring that out) but I'm lucky enough to be able to say that these laws don't effect me directly. However frustratingly complicated it may be, my predominant gender identity still matches my biology. I have no problem using a men's room aside from the fact that there fucking repulsive. Even if the prototypical jarhead fag-basher pissing next to me knew I was genderqueer, one look at my mountain man beard and my Haystacks Calhoun physique and he would probably just assume that a guy like me being genderqueer just meant that I liked to wear women's lingerie while I slaughtered my victims with a fire-ax (I actually prefer kimonos and chainsaws.) Long, hypothetical story short, Johnny Fag-Basher would probably sooner piss sitting down then risk a bloody death in my basement choreographed to the tune of "Goodbye Horses". What can I say, even the most hideous stereotypes can be fun sometimes. My point is, I have the luxury of being able to blend in with the straight world. Even my feminine side is pretty butch. But most gender non-conforming folks aren't so lucky. And since I can't be in every men's room from Kansas to Mississippi with my kimono and chainsaw to protect my people, I have no other choice but to once again fall back on the sadly limited power of my mighty little blog.

My solution, aside from castrating the Johnny Fag-Basher's of this universe, is actually pretty simple. Down right obvious in my opinion. Desegregate the bathrooms. Seriously, why the fuck not. I don't think even the most heavily chromosomed mongoloids out here in cousin-fucker country suffer under the delusion that not everybody poops. The very premise of gender segregated bathrooms is actually relatively recent. About 127 years to be exact. Which in the scheme of human existence is equivalent to a fucking pin drop. Furthermore, it's a relic of an antiquated and sexist era.

During the burgeoning Industrial Revolution of the late 1880's, the mustache twirling patriarchy of Victorian America jumped at ways to protect or rather control the growing population of female factory workers. What they came up with in there infinite, manly, Caucasian wisdom was that good old stand by of segregation. They figured, shit, it worked on those troublesome colored folk down south, so fuck it, why not? And thus we had ladies reading rooms in libraries, ladies parlors in department stores, ladies train cars (in back, naturally) and ladies restrooms. Most of these brilliant, paternalistic advances fell by the wayside of progress. So why hold on to the last vestige of a stupid era. Especially when it oppresses and violates peoples basic dignity. Privacy would simply be a matter of locking the stall door. Urinals and open showers would have to go but I'd hardly call that a tragedy. And I know what you ladies out there are thinking. Men are fucking animals in the bathroom. My OCD has made me painfully aware of this fact. But ask any straight married man if his bathroom habits have become more human since cohabitating with a member of the opposite sex and they will promptly give you a defeated sigh and concur. The more women in a house, the more cleanly the bathroom. Never underestimate the power of a good example. We can fucking do this people. It's not fucking rocket science. All we have to do is grow the fuck up and evolve. Segregation of any kind is bullshit. Lets liberate the bathroom, NOW!!!

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