As an author, I meet a lot of people. I have fans from every walk of life and I am proud to know each and every one.
I am proud to say my fanbase includes transgender people, as well. Transgender people have an uphill battle all their lives, from the ignorant masses who don’t understand the issue and are too afraid to educate themselves to redneck states passing idiotic discriminatory laws to family that disowns them. Add to that the way society in general behaves and I think transgender people are some of the bravest I have ever met.
Which is why I will stand with Target and any other business that takes a public stance to help and understand transgender people. There is nothing wrong with a transgender person using the restroom they identify with. NOTHING. And corporations being brave enough to stand up against the small-minded and big-mouthed minority is awesome. I am proud that Target stores carry my novels and I am now a regular customer. I would rather drive the extra 15 miles than do business with stores that will not stand up for what is right.
I do understand, however, that a percentage of the people against this idea are not extremists looking for someone new to bully now they have lost the battle against marriage equality (in case you didn’t know, all of the “religious groups” behind this crap are the same groups that said gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry) . Some of them are people afraid not of transgender people but of cis-gender people using this as a loophole.
This is an unfounded fear. Completely and utterly based in TV fairytales of predator behavior.
Let me explain. First, I have a degree in forensic science which focuses on evidence and criminology (the psychology of criminals.) Second, I have a psychology degree. Third, I have experienced being preyed on first hand. I know how they behave.
Predators are not going to attack you, perve you or your children, in a public restroom. They never have, they never will. Aside from the fact I can find ZERO confirmed predator attacks on cisgendered women in a public bathroom in the last 20 years, we are talking about a predator. They are already breaking the law (it is already against the law to enter any facility to harass, bully or perv someone), and they do not want to get caught. The overwhelming majority of attacks are: 1) by someone the victim knows, 2) in an area easy to escape from, 3) reasonably secluded so they do not attract attention.
No predator is going to attack you in a Target bathroom where there is one door, there are hundreds of witnesses within earshot and MANNED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE ON THE DOORS. Being caught on video attacking someone or leaving the scene is a one-way sentence to prison. And since most predators consider themselves hyper-male, they are not going to downplay their masculinity and power by dressing feminine. Duh. The whole point isn’t about sex, it is about power.
The truth is that transgender women are screamed at and beaten up in the ladies room and KILLED in the men’s room. Not cis-women, transgender women. Percentage-wise, more transgender women are attacked and killed in this country every year than cis-women, and their murders are unsolved. They are attacked by people they do not even know. Which is part of the reason we should be paying attention to and eliminating these laws. These “bathroom laws” are putting transgender people in danger of being murdered simply for needing to pee.
I stand with Target and any business that is giving voice to the transgender community, and I always will.