Saturday, April 23, 2016

I'll Pee by You

(Artist: Matese Fields)

Dear transgender people,

I’ll pee in the stall next to you anytime.

You see, I’m concerned about being attacked by a sexual predator in a public restroom. I’m guessing you are too considering 64 percent of transgender people will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. I’m cisgender, so I can only imagine what that feels like. I empathize though, as a bisexual woman I am twice as likely to experience sexual assault and three times as likely to be raped, most likely by a cisgender male. Statistically speaking, you and I are targets for sexual assault.

Don’t get me wrong. I love cisgender men. I married one, I came from one and I have two sons myself. I love my family and want to keep my children safe. I’m sure you’re concerned about the wellbeing of your children too, considering roughly 41 percent of transgender people are parents.

Let’s be logical though, the odds of you or me getting assaulted by a stranger in a public restroom are very small. In 8 out of 10 cases of sexual assault the victim already knows the person who sexually assaulted them. We are more likely to be assaulted by a known friend, family member, or by a classmate on a college campus, than by a stranger at a shopping center.

I don’t see how disallowing you from peeing in the stall next to me is going to keep you, me, and my children any safer from a cisgender male predator. Anyone, regardless of apparel, can walk into the ladies’ restroom and assault us at anytime.

You know what they say, though. We like to think that we arrive at a decision by using rational thought and trustworthy data, but in reality humans tend to rely on appeals to emotion. I’m sure there are people who could dispute the studies, numbers, and data that support my logic, but in the end it’s a matter of trust. I trust you to protect me and I hope you trust me to protect you.

I’d love to chat longer, but I’m on my way out the door to Target.

Sincerely yours, 
Cisgender woman