North Carolina transgender bill is inexcusable

Elizabeth Stoeger, Staff Writer

North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” is not only an inexcusable act of discrimination against the whole LGBTQ community but also yet another cruel, unwarranted action against the unoffending transgender population.

North Carolina provoked the ire of many, and the support of some, by passing a bill on March 23 which requires that people use the restroom and locker room that corresponds to the biological sex listed on their birth certificates, not based on gender identity.

The bill had unanimous Republication support in the Senate and Democrats protested by walking out.

When the passing of the bill was announced, many public figures and corporations condemned the new law.

Bruce Springsteen was one of the first to cancel a concert in the state.

Springsteen said in a statement, “Some things are more important than a rock show, and this fight against prejudice and bigotry, which is happening as I write, is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”

Musicians like Ringo Starr, Jimmy Buffett, Cyndi Lauper, and the bands Mumford and Sons, Pearl Jam, and Duran Duran joined Springsteen in taking a stand against the discriminatory bathroom bill.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver suggested that the All-Star Game could be relocated if the law continued to limit protection for the LGBTQ community.

In perhaps the most surprising turn of events, presidential candidate Donald Trump split with the majority of Republicans and came out against the bill while fellow nominee Ted Cruz harshly criticized him for doing so and supported North Carolina.

Almost a month after the bill was passed, President Obama said the laws in North Carolina and Mississippi that target the LGBTQ community are “wrong and should be overturned,” in a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on a recent trip to London.

Those who support the bill cite the protection of women and children as the primary factor motivating the bill.

“In the first two months of 2015, at least seven transgender women of color — almost one a week — were murdered in the United States, from Miami to Los Angeles,” reported the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The transgender community continues to be the target of horrific hate crimes and the suggestion that they would prey on women and children in bathrooms or locker rooms is a hideous insinuation and simply untrue.

“I don’t look at the person whose locker is directly below mine. I’m not in there to spy on your kids. I’m not in there for any other reason but to change in a place that is not completely separate from everybody else,” said Elliot Yoder, a 14-year-old transgender boy who created an uproar at a Dallas, Oregon School Board meeting because he wanted to use the men’s locker room.

However, the fact that there is even a controversy like this in the 21st century is indicative of a larger problem of acceptance and ignorance.

The saying ‘separate but equal is still not equal’ can be applied directly to this situation where transgender people do not want to use separate facilities and be thrown into the ‘other category even further. They simply want to be included and accepted for who they feel they are on the inside.