June 18, 2019 | 75° F

EDITORIAL: North Carolina legislation excretes discrimination

Bill requires transgender people to use restroom of assigned gender


Most of us, presumably, will never know what it’s like to have a gender identity that doesn’t match the biological sex we were born with. When what you feel and who you think you are doesn’t match the sex organs you were born with, and you try to correct this dissonance, there’s a nefarious portion of society that will want to regulate your body for you. This portion of society will not accept you and will find ways to prevent you from accepting yourself.

North Carolina passed a bill that reeks of bigotry, devoid of humanity and pragmatism. State lawmakers passed a bill that bars transgender people from using public restrooms that match their gender identity, and, rightfully so, it’s eliciting a slew of criticism that risks business in the state as well as its federal funds. Large companies in North Carolina, from American Airlines to Apple and Google, expressed their indignation over this bill. And although its drastic measures make it an unlikely possibility, the Obama Administration faces whether North Carolina, despite the discriminatory and unconstitutional of the law it passed, is still eligible to receive federal aid. North Carolina passed a law that targets certain people for qualities they cannot help but have, so accepting this law also means the implicit acceptance of discrimination. You don’t agree with designating minorities like black people, as during the Jim Crow era, Hispanics, Arab-Americans or Asian-Americans with specific bathrooms, do you?

The inane reason that buttresses the law is that allowing a transgender person to use the bathroom they identify with would easily allow “men to use women’s bathrooms/lockers,” in the words of Gov. Pat McCrory (R-N.C.), and peeping toms or rapists could use women’s bathroom. So the law states that a person that must use public restrooms that match the gender on their birth certificate. And in North Carolina, a transgender person can request to have the gender on their birth certificate changed only if the person completed a gender reassignment surgery, which is expensive and not always feasible. But the law appears to be a waste of time, because how can it even be enforceable in the first place? Will there be someone at every bathroom checking birth certificates? Nonetheless, the law makes using the bathroom unnecessarily complicated and will allow someone who looks like a man (but the person’s birth certificate indicates a biological sex of being female) into a women’s bathroom. The law also pegs the idea that people who are transgendered are inherently dangerous. Controversy over restrooms shows a call for a new of more unisex bathrooms, which any gender can use.

But transgender individuals have more to fear from everyone else than everyone else do of them. Transgender homicides hit a historic high in 2015 with 21 homicides, and none were prosecuted as hate crimes. People react violently to knowing that a person is transgender, psychologically attacking a person and injuring them with malicious words or physically attacking them in ways that have lead to murder. Currently, James Dixon, a Brooklyn man, is being charged for manslaughter in a high-profile case for the death of Islan Nettles, a transgender woman. Dixon admitted to detectives that he flirted with her before the attack, unaware she was transgender. He attacked her with a group of friends afterward, and beat her to the extent in which she had severe brain damage. Violence against transgender individuals are explicitly committed, but violence can also come in inconspicuous and insidious ways that reject a person for their identity and prevent a person from simple privileges, such as allowing the person to use a bathroom they identity with.

Overall, this discriminatory law must be rejected and repealed. North Carolina’s lawmakers need to realize that the smell of their feces is more offensive than having a transgender person in the bathroom.

The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 148th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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