(Final update at the end) So I'm scrolling through my Facebook feed, like one does, and I see a former college classmate has linked to an article about Houston's newly passed housing and employment equality ordinance. The article is a Breitbart one, of course.
Here's the nice little commentary he added to the post, along with my comment in response. Oh and, of course there were a couple of "that's disgusting!" and "this makes me sick!" comments posted by his "friends," too.
Oh, and did I mention that this guy is in med-school? What the hell is he going to do when he has a trans patient?
"No surveillance cameras, only one exit. Dumbest move ever."
First of all, it might be helpful to know all the facts instead of getting in a huff over a Breitbart article that is full of much in the way of blustery indignation and little in the way of actual information. Houston's council passed an EQUALITY ordinance that protects people (including LGBTQ, which includes trans people) from housing and other discrimination. It offers people who are subject to discrimination a local way to address issues versus having to seek lawsuits or redress at the federal level.
Second of all, the "controversial" part of the ordinance that has Breitbart up in arms was REMOVED from the ordinance before the vote was finally taken. That part, of allowing trans people to use public restroom facilities according to the gender of which they identify, is no longer in the legislation. No businesses will be "forced" to allow trans people to use the bathroom of their choice. BUT, even if they were... Trans people are NOT sexual predators. A trans woman is NOT a man playing dress up. A trans woman is a woman. A trans man is NOT a woman having fun wearing men's clothing. A trans man is a man.
Demonizing LGBTQ people with "won't you think of the children" fire-fanning arguments is such utter and complete hogwash. The children are alright. The children have been alright. You've likely already used public restroom facilities in the presence of a trans person even when you were a child, because guess what? Trans people were around when we were kids, just like they are now. And guess what else? They weren't some mythical bogeyman out to steal your innocence. They just wanted to use the restroom without being harassed or made unsafe.
Here's an article that has more information on the ordinance itself, which, as I mentioned earlier, the Breitbart article failed to include at all. And below the link are two quotes from the article.
"The ordinance bans discrimination in housing and employment among 14 characteristics – including protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity."
"...others expressed concerns that transgender people would be allowed to use public restrooms of the gender in which they identify themselves. The clause was ultimately removed..."
If he doesn't just outright delete my comment and actually responds back, I'll let y'all know.
ETA: he's left a response. Here's that, plus my comment in return:
Him: It's not the LGBT folks I'm worried about, (Xyl0c41n3). It's the heterosexual predators that can use this as an opportunity to go into a public restroom and sexually assault a woman or girl in a place where it's difficult to escape and that has zero surveillance. Or did I get that wrong?
Me: Because a predator will wait for legislation making restroom choice "legal" before committing a crime?
The aim behind the removed portion of the legislation wasn't to allow a man (such as a cis-man with the intent to cause harm) to use a woman's restroom just because he wanted to. The aim was to allow transgender people to use the restroom in which they would feel more comfortable and safe. Making a scare tactic "what if" argument and conflating it with the now-removed portion of legislation is an error.
And it belies a prejudice wherein one considers a trans woman to not be a woman but a man. A trans woman, even a pre-operative trans woman, is STILL a woman.
Final update: So he private messaged me saying he isn't prejudiced against LGBTQ people, and that he had made it clear that his concern was ONLY with possible heterosexual predators (men assaulting women), and that, as such, he had deleted my comments.
When I reiterated that predatory men don't need a legislative excuse to commit their crimes, he responded with:
"regardless of your valid point in that matter, that doesn't make me prejudiced against lgbt'S."
And then, when I mentioned that a false argument of feminist solidarity was insulting to both women and trans-people, he responded with:
"you could have made your points much more graciously and without accusing me."
I said a couple of more sentences after that, but he stopped looking at the messages. Not only did he delete my comments, but he also blocked me from being able to see any of his current or future posts, but still left me as a "friend."
Yeah buddy. There's no latent prejudice there at all. It's all about protecting the womenfolk.