Transgender People and Issues

I was heartened to see Jonathan Merritt address the Christian side of trangender people and the issues they bring to faith and society.

Unfortunately, many people who stand under the flying banner of tradition and/or conservative Christianity, are simply not informed and not discerning real human issues all the way through.

Some good steps:

  • Science first. Get informed from impartial and knowledgeable sources. Don’t start with the political debates.
  • If you know someone, have a talk. Have a talk in which you learn from a trans person or someone who knows one well, and not a lecture in which you have something to preach or impose.

That figure of one in a hundred people … that’s not miniscule or microscopic. Pro athletes, priests, and reality tv stars: those proportions are nearly irrelevant, if you mean close to zero. And in the latter case, I’m not sure it’s nearly as real.

And I’m not sure about the bathroom-in-school debate. I’ll tell you that as a private-minded kid, I never used the school bathroom until I was in tenth or eleventh grade or something. They never felt safe to me. I went in the morning and I had a strong bladder, I guess.

If possible, does the availability of a private elimination space make sense? And retrofit those nervous large-group restrooms like we did for wheelchairs? People who build public restrooms or who are reticent about cutting costs just don’t get it. And I don’t mean just about the trans issues.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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3 Responses to Transgender People and Issues

  1. Liam says:

    After I was beaten up a a public school toilet stall in 4th grade (the grade at which we no longer had a toilet in the classroom but had to use common lavatories that were unsupervised), I did not go to the bathroom in school until 12th grade. This had some important consequences….

  2. Chris Sullivan says:

    The Talmud discussed transgender issues in depth over 1500 years ago. Looks like Christians are still struggling to catch up with our Jewish elders in the faith. Sigh.

  3. Melody says:

    I am thinking of that young woman who was an Olympic runner a few years back. They made her go through tests to prove that she was really a woman. As I remember, the tests were not conclusive, she had characteristics of both male and female. I felt so sorry for her the way it played out in such a very public way. Things aren’t always as cut and dried as people think they are.
    I agree with you that public restrooms (especially school restrooms) need to be made more private. Maybe if they were, the gender issues would matter less. Unfortunately what Liam described happens too often, even without gender questions. There’s something to be said for having restroom monitors. Another area where more privacy is needed are the dressing rooms for Physical Education classes. In the high school I attended, there were group showers which we were supposed to use after class. Even though they were sex- segregated, none of us wanted to shower in front of others, and just sprayed on tons of Right Guard. With all the body issues teens have, you’d think this situation would be a no-brainer, but schools don’t want to spend the money.
    It all boils down to allowing people to have some dignity.

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