[su_dropcap style=”flat”]C[/su_dropcap]AITLYN JENNER took Donald Trump up on his offer to use the ladies room at Trump Tower, and tweeted, “No one got molested.” This, in response to the lone voice on transgender folks using whatever restroom they feel is appropriate.
Cruz, in response, said it wasn’t the transgender folks he was worried about, if restrooms were opened to anyone, but those predator males who prey on females, mentioning also that he has two little girls. His opinion – this gives the predator one more opportunity to do bad things.
I’ve been watching the whole transgender thing unfold and thinking, “Oh for goodness sake, this is already happening in Europe – what’s the big deal.” At the same time, a little piece of my brain is trying to process how well I’d react if a man came in to use the urinal while I was present.
Cruz’ comment caught me up short – it made sense. But it also sparked a different thought – it made me realize that both sides have valid and heartfelt arguments.
We seem to be stuck in this polarity of positions, arguing one side vehemently and with an absolutely closed mind. If only the world and our issues were really that black and white, but the questions we face today aren’t black and white. We have moved far beyond a time where there are easy answers, given the tremendous diversity of our nation. Some may bemoan that diversity, but it is what it is and it isn’t going away any time soon (at least without major conflict that results in loss of life.)
What if we looked at the transgender bathroom issue, not as different sides with opposing views, but as what is the right thing to do for the country.
What if we followed a logic trail that went something like this….our great country takes pride in providing a safe place and unlimited opportunity for everyone, regardless of who they are or how they think. We reject the concept of anyone being a “second class citizen,” subjected to bias and derision. We have an emerging humanity that is different than anyone we have encountered – the days of “Check male or female” are gone, like it or not. We need to figure out how we can allow this emerging group to have their freedom, while at the same time, preserving the freedom of others.
If that is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
I suspect most people could get their heads around that premise. Even so, that doesn’t mean we are ready to take a drastic step that has unimagined consequences. We need to consider and imagine the risks, and address them. If we find risks that cannot be completely avoided, we need to take time to figure out how we can at least address them.
Once we have done our due diligence and developed a plan, we need to carefully communicate that plan, helping everyone understand the basic values that led us here, the risks we may face and educate the public on mitigating that risk.
Perhaps we use a phased in approach – making the change in a community who has embraced the emerging group, and learning from early adopters about how best to make the plan work well.
It’s inevitable, really
The unisex bathroom is going to happen here; it’s a matter of time. We have come too far on the road to human rights for everyone to not keep going as new groups emerge. Rather than shove it down our throats with no preparation and no recognition of valid arguments like Cruz’, why not take a different approach and do it right?
Yes, it takes more time. Yes, it takes leadership to unite rather than divide, and we have precious few of those available to us. But come on, can’t we just stop these emotionally-charged arguments and come together to figure out a real solution?
But I guess that wouldn’t play well on MSNBC or Fox, would it?
let's rediscover humanity togetherIt's About Time ...
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