November 2017
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on the use of public bathrooms as a trans person: an illustration


icon: "Ma'at (a photo of one side of a brass balance scale, with a feather inside the bowl. The background is sky blue. On the bottom of the image, below the photo, is the word "Ma'at")"

CN/TW: anti-trans sentiment regarding use of public bathrooms.

I made an illustration:
bathroom-inequality-trans1-smaller
[image description]
[image: a graphic with words and symbols in three panels.
At the top is printed: "laws like North Carolina's HB 2 enforce inequality at the most basic level:"

The first panel has the words "what it's like for cisgender people:" and two black rectangles with peg-shaped people in them. The first rectangle contains a green peg-person, and underneath it in brackets are [your gender] and [welcome]. The second rectangle contains a black peg-person, and underneath it in brackets are [not your gender] and [irrelevant]. Below these is a line of text in quotes and italics that says, "We understand that you are a human with needs. Safe, comfortable relief provided free of charge."

The second panel has the words "what it's like for binary transgender people who pass:" and two black triangles with red-outlined yellow exclamation marks in them. Underneath the first triangle in brackets are [your gender] and [risk arrest]. Underneath the second triangle in brackets are [not your gender] and [risk harassment]. Below these is a line of text in quotes and italics that says, "Use at your own risk. Maybe nothing bad will happen."

The third panel has the words "what it's like for nonbinary or nonpassing transgender people:" and two black circles with a diagonal line (the 'no' symbol), covering the words "you" repeated in red. Underneath both in brackets are [KEEP OUT] and [risk arrest, harassment, assault]. Below these is a line of text in quotes and italics that says, "Go find a bush. We don't want your kind here."]



Also, it was Trans Day of Visibility yesterday, and my first thought was "oh everyone knows I'm trans." But maybe not, so let me tell you: I am an agender/genderfree trans person.

I am willing to be your token friend as an example to any transphobe you want to talk to about transness, assuming you are trying to help them relate. Lots of people are unaware that they know a trans person, and people are massively terrible at empathizing without a personal connection, which is why it is important that cis people realize that they know a trans person. Even a once-removed connection is more than most people realize they have. So if you are a cis person and someone says to you something like "lolz that person is bad at gender, look at their xyz!" You can say, "that might be the perfect gender expression for them; not everyone is the same. One of my friends is trans and I respect their right to throw out gender norms."

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Comments
bobby1933 ══╣╠══
Interesting and helpful.
I must learn a new language
(a new version of English)
belenen ══╣writing╠══
thanks!

Indeed, transforming language within our own minds is so important.
bobby1933 ══╣╠══
Oh, yes. and the ones we say out loud perhaps more so.
raidingparty ══╣╠══
Two other bits about language forming thought patterns:
- One people (can't remember who) use directions because their language doesn't have "right" or "left". So, like... hand me the Southwest plate.
Since they're always thinking in terms of direction, they almost never get lost.
- This is a distant memory, so I might be getting it wrong, need to double-check with a native Japanese speaker. But if I remember correctly "breaking" is a passive verb in Japanese, so "the Southwest plate was broken". In a study, people in active-break languages remembered who broke the plate longer than passive.
bobby1933 ══╣╠══
Many First peoples groups, including some American Indian groups are direction oriented as you described. We also learn from them that color perceptions are influenced by color names. This is also true of many other features of "reality" which we think are "out there." What we perceive is a function of interaction between the external and internal words. A rose by another name might not smell as sweet after all.
raidingparty ══╣╠══
Oh neat, I hadn't read that about colors!
zimtkeks ══╣╠══
How people think they get to judge other people for their gender/sex/race/religion/whatever always baffles me. And makes me angry. My mother did a lot of awful things to my mind, but she sure raised me to respect every person the same. I'm so sorry there are so many judgmental folks out there who make life for you and others harder.
Also, I would be fine with unisex/unigender toilets. I don't go there to get naked in front of others, there are stalls. I don't care who's in the next one.
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
I am glad that your mother at least gave you that, it's something! makes it easier to unlearn what society teaches.

I think unisex/unigender is the way to go! there should be one bathroom for stalls and another for urinals, and no one should police who goes in where (but obv make sure people don't poop in urinals!).
zimtkeks ══╣╠══
Ew, people pooping in urinals is a gross thought!
fayriekisses ══╣╠══

I have 2 tran friends, you and another FB friend, and I've used you both as examples to transphobe people. The conversations have gone well. I think people just don't understand, and when you give concrete examples of real people, it registers easier. It's sad it has to be that way, but at least it works.


Also, saying you support a group of a people despite thier ignorant statement is a good way to shut them down. I think they have a tendency to believe 99% of people agree with their ignorance, so that's why they are comfortable openly expressing such junk.

belenen ══╣progressing╠══
Excellent! people can relate to a personal story so much more easily than to an abstract concept.

I totally agree, people say this stuff because they think everyone thinks it.
xochitl ══╣╠══
This is a great graphic. I just recently figured out that I'm agender, and haven't quite made the leap yet to identifying as trans. I've gotten okay with calling myself genderqueer. I guess after almost 34 years of assuming I just "didn't know how to girl properly" is different than actualizing my gender identity is not actually "girl" at all, so it will take some time to get used to. :)
belenen ══╣genderfree╠══
*nodnod* totally feel you on that!
ragnarok_08 ══╣Original ★ dethorned roses╠══
This really is a great graphic - it says so much.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thanks!
wantedonvoyage ══╣Rainbow╠══
I agree that this is a great graphic. Are you open to it being shared and if so how do you want to be credited?

I have been hassling Governor McCrory on Twitter all week, and have two new Grumpycats for TDoV, which I will share in my post for yesterday (I'm a bit behind).

belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thank you, and yes! wherever you share it, please include the content note and image description. If you post it on LJ, please link to this entry, but if you post it elsewhere there is no need for credit :)
pallid_regina ══╣Bearded Goby╠══
I have enough trans friends at this point in my life that I'm starting to hit that "why are the mainstream masses so STUPID?!" place sometimes, which is bad. It's not like I'm any great shakes at being fully cognizant of my own flubs when it comes to gender performance/privilege/expectations. It can be easy to forget that not everyone has access to experience or knowledge about the hidden rules of gender, and for people who have never been challenged to think about it at all ignorance can often be assumed to be bigotry. Basically, this is cool, this offer you are making. Thanks.

On a somewhat different but still connected note, I'm starting to see a lot of really bizarre gender-assumption stuff for sale. Today I was in a craft store and there were "girls craft packs" and "boys craft packs" and I just stopped, stunned, thinking, "Wait, this is a THING?! This is STILL a thing?!" Yeah, it's totally still a thing, why am I surprised? Yet, la, I was.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
It is definitely easy to forget my former self and get impatient, I know what you mean!

Ugh, the relentless genderizing of everything. It's so profitable because it gives most people a sense of belonging (at the expense of everyone else). I hate it so much.

on the word 'stupid': http://tinyurl.com/pleasenoslurs
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.