I’m pretty confident that many of the folks that frequent my blog are not expecting me to comment on something like the LGBT Bathroom Laws that are being thrown around these United States of America. I tend to stay away from subjects like specific political candidates and beliefs because my goal is to create work that any person struggling with Depression or Bipolar Disorder can pick up and use, whether they are a supporter and loved one or a mentally ill person themselves. But, this does happen to fall within my spectrum of interest given the fact that 41% of trans-people attempt suicide; a statistic that is pretty close to the 50% of people with Bipolar Disorder who attempt suicide.
I feel like some measure of introduction to where I stand on issues is in order. I would consider myself a political moderate that leans heavily to the Left. Would I support a politician on the Right? Sure, if they seemed sane and I identified with their thinking. Compromise is found in the center. It’s much easier to attain meaningful results when people are working from both sides of the river to build a bridge that meets in the middle.
As it comes to sexuality, I am a CIS heterosexual male. That essentially means that I am a male mind in a male body with a sexual preference for women.
With that in mind, and in regards to the LGBT Bathroom “Controversy”…
What are you people thinking?
Seriously. I don’t get it. Legislation that requires a person to use the bathroom of the sex that appeared on their birth certificate. Has anyone given even a second of thought to how you would actually enforce this and what the ramifications would be? Fantastic. Let’s go ahead and have the cops check our birth certificates and crotch now. I’m sure they have nothing in the world better to do.
And how is anyone going to pick up on that anyway unless the person “looks” a certain way? Oh, you’re not aesthetically pleasing so I’m going to need to see a birth certificate and your junk if you want to pee. Can’t see what would possibly go wrong with that!
But sexual predators can use it as a means to find victims!
Let’s take a quick trip out of knee-jerk fear and into reality for a minute. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network is the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States. Their statistics on sexual assault are derived from Department of Justice data.
And according to actual data 82% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by a non-stranger and 50% of those occurred at the person’s home or within a mile of their home. Well, gee. I wonder why that is?
Let me step into the mind of a pervert for a moment. (I mean a dangerous pervert, not the pervert I normally am.) It seems like sexually assaulting someone in a Target bathroom is a really stupid idea if I want to get my rocks off, what with the cameras in the store, dozens of people that are within loud talking distance, and constant in and out traffic. Seems like if I tried that, I might just get caught and wind up in prison for a long time.
Criminals may not always be educated, but most aren’t stupid. And in the case of some criminals, they are most definitely educated. So why does society act like they are stupid? People have this image of what a predator is in their mind. People think of tropes like disheveled homeless looking dudes, vans, candy. Jerry Sandusky didn’t much “look” like a predator. Neither did Jared Fogle or Earl Bradley. Neither did many of the friends, family members, and professionals that have victimized your own friends and family members.
Vipers hide behind charisma, bright smiles, and the illusion of normalcy. And frankly, as a dude that looks disheveled and homeless a lot of the time, I don’t much appreciate the association.
But we need to protect the women and children!
The cry of conservative religious and political figures. Quick question. Where were you people when it started to come to light that the Catholic Church is essentially playing a shell game with sexual predators among their priests? Where’s the outrage that the Catholic Church kept extensive records on these predators and did little to nothing about it? Also – if you believe the Pope talks to God, I have to wonder how okay God is with molesting kids because it seems like something that would have come up by now.
“Hey, Pope! You know that thing where you’re protecting predators that are destroying the happiness, well being, and ability to function of hundreds of kids per predator for the rest of their lives? You might want to turn the mountain of evidence you’ve collected over to authorities and get those people out of my churches.” I can’t speak for God, but I feel like his representatives molesting kids might have been at least a small blip on his radar. But, what do I know?
I think that it is more likely that we outcasts are just a convenient and easy target. Trans-people, gay people, the mentally ill, the poor, criminals that aren’t genuinely awful people; we all have something in common. We all have politicians and leaders who are making decisions for the direction of our lives, not for our benefit or from our perspective, but from their own perspective and what’s best for their bottom line.
And it all boils down to the almighty dollar. Institutions like the church have trillions, we outcasts hopefully have enough money for rent and to eat.
Do we really want to protect women and children?
I have been engaged in mental health advocacy work through this website and more for the past four years. I’ve heard a lot of stories from a lot of different people. I’ve been privileged to be the first person that several of these people shared their story with. I never talk about these peoples’ stories with anyone else. I use their trust to try and get them to seek professional help where they can make meaningful gains for their well-being. And I have reported active situations to relevant authorities and will continue to do so as needed.
Let me share with you some commonalities I’ve noticed in many of these stories.
I can’t tell you the number of women I’ve talked to who wanted to come forward but did not because they were afraid of losing one of their relatives to prison for assaulting or killing the accused. Then there are the women who think they won’t be believed. Also the women who blame themselves for it happening or think they somehow deserved it. All of these women are suffering in silence, every day, oftentimes right next to you. They are your sisters, daughters, mothers, grandmothers; not some random person that you don’t know. And many of them were victimized by people they knew and trusted.
The child abuse histories are worse. Prior to starting on this path, I very firmly bought into the typical belief that evil was the cause of most suffering in the world. But it’s not. It’s apathy. A small percentage of people are good or evil, the rest just don’t care unless it directly affects them. And even when it does? They still do nothing.
In no place is this more evident in the number of times I’ve heard from adult survivors of sexual abuse, “XYZ relative walked in on him doing what he did to me and they didn’t do anything to help me.” Over. And over. And over. And over. I’ve thought “why?” about a thousand times, but it really doesn’t matter why. The point is that there are many direct witnesses who do nothing.
Trans-people are the true, real, and existing victims in all of this. I linked this earlier as a reference, and I’m linking it again. Go there. Read the second page, the “Executive Summary.” Read it and tell me with a straight face that it is acceptable to further discriminate against a group people because of an imagined problem with ZERO evidence of existing.
An important lesson I’ve learned is that many people want to have the peace of mind of thinking that they are doing the right thing and helping, but don’t have the stomach to deal with what is actually required to do it. It’s easy to listen to the sewage spewing from the mouths of the media and politicians and think, “Oh, yeah. This is a real problem!” But, it’s not. It never was.
The real problems are far dirtier, unpleasant, and difficult to deal with let alone try to fix.
“But I’m afraid/anxious/uncomfortable!”
Yeah, so are trans-people. What makes your comfort so special? Go to a therapist and deal with your anxiety and fears if it’s that much of a problem.
And a disclaimer…
I am a moderate. I believe in the basic tenets of America’s Bill of Rights, including the freedom for people to hold whatever religious beliefs they have and freedom of speech. I’m not anti-religion. I’m also not that personally invested in the LGBT crusade either. I don’t have the emotional energy to fight every war that I think needs to be fought. I look at them as brothers and sisters, even though our challenges are different, but you won’t see me at any pride rallies or protests (largely because I think it’s a pointless waste of time.)
There are limitations to everything. And in this particular case, I have a very negative opinion of conservative lawmakers and religious figures using the fear, ignorance, and misunderstanding as a thinly veiled means of stripping away the rights of at-risk people under the premise of “protecting children” when they’ve done little to address the very real problems that exist: such as social worker burnout, underfunding in social programs like Children’s Protection Services, and the massive amount of secrecy and corruption surrounding institutionalized abuse.
They don’t care about protecting children. Their actions are evidence enough of that.
The people who are supporting laws like the bathroom laws are essentially standing in a gang, beating a person who have been abused and battered for centuries at this point. You’re not protecting women and children. You’re oppressing a group of people you don’t understand, that may frighten or confuse you, so you can FEEL LIKE you’re protecting women and children. Meanwhile, the women and children who actually do need help can’t get it because you, yes YOU, are wasting your time on this arbitrary bullshit.
YOU could be meaningfully helping people that really need it by thinking for yourself, looking at the facts, and acting accordingly. I have news for you. Bathroom laws aren’t going to do ANYTHING to meaningfully prevent sexual assault any more than the regular laws against sexual assault prevents it.
But what about the million signature petition to boycott Target?
Oh, and one last thing before I wrap this up. You know that million signature petition the American Family Association claimed to have about people willing to boycott Target because of their stance? Allow me to point out some discrepancies.
1. Why did we not hear about this petition before it hit a million signatures? Did you hear about it at all through social media or mainstream media? If not, how did they get a million signatures if people didn’t know the petition existed?
2. Their “petition” is hosted on their domain and ran by their organization. In other words, there is no way to actually verify where those million signatures came from, including whether or not those people actually exist, whether or not they just cut and pasted an electronic phone book and called it their petition.
3. A million signatures, eh? That’s pretty amazing. Especially since the AFA also founded two groups called One Million Moms and One Million Dads as a means to mobilize regressive conservatives and their ideology. What an interesting “coincidence.”
Well, let’s see. Twitter is pretty much the social media outlet of choice for activism because of how quickly you can mobilize people through it. So, perhaps they tapped their massive support base through the internet to make it happen. Hmm… the AFA groups @1milmoms has 3500 followers and @onemildads has 360. That’s remarkably less than a million, as have been the populations of both groups since they were created by a bigot to influence public opinion.
In my mind, it’s pretty clear that this is solely propaganda designed to deceive and mislead.
If you support this garbage, you are facilitating and enabling the suffering and oppression of not only LGBT people, but the women and children society is so adamant about protecting. If you’re silent, then you might as well be holding the victim down for their abuser.
Say something. Call your politicians. Talk to your religious leaders in your churches. Let them know that this fear, manipulation, and hatemongering is unacceptable. Vote with your wallet. Shop at and support businesses like Target who are working to combat bigotry and ignorance in their own way.
I am a High-Functioning Autistic with Type 2 Bipolar Disorder and severe Bipolar-Depression, a CIS heterosexual male. I don’t know the struggles of LGBT people and don’t pretend to. I work to support these people in my own way. What I do understand are the 41% who decided that suicide was the only option left because of who they were, what their life was, and not having hope for anything better. That is a struggle I understand all too well.
And to my Right Wing, conservative, and religious readers that think God has a negative opinion of LGBT people; I implore you to do more research on the matter or actually spend some time with them. You’ll find they are far less scary and alien than religious leaders, politicians, and the media would have you believe.