Let’s face it. Most of us haven’t had as much contact with transgender people. And anything that is new and different to us can make people uncomfortable. This is why this is not surprising and in fact it is quite understandable that a director from New Jersey and his wife would have had issues with a transgender girl in the men’s room, as has been reported. at breakAC.com.
According to the story, a couple who visited a bar / restaurant in Smithville became enraged when they noticed what appeared to be a trans woman using the girls’ room. An argument ensued, which ended, according to the story, with the man throwing his beer at a nearby woman who had told the man to “carry his hate elsewhere”.
The problem is that people of a certain age are presented with new ideas and concepts on a daily basis while younger people have lived with them all their lives. The world moves on and changes so quickly that many people feel as if they are forced to immediately accept new ideas and principles when certain things take a long time to get used to. That’s why I think we need to give someone time if they’re not used to the idea of someone who is so obviously born of a different gender using the facilities of their gender. I understand. This is new: in the old days, before awareness was raised to the transgender / bathroom dilemma, most people wouldn’t even have thought about it.
But we have to admit, it’s strange for a lot of people – in fact, for most people. This is the LITERAL definition of “transphobia”. That’s why I’m always offended that people think “homophobia” or “transphobia” is bad. “Phobia” does not mean “hate”. It means fear. It’s something you’re afraid of, but you don’t necessarily know why. It’s understandable.
On the other hand, the man, who would be the principal of a high school in New Jersey, was clearly wrong. His behavior as well as that of his wife was inexcusable and embarrassing and pushes all limits of decency and decorum. And I’m sure the alcohol fueled his so-called tantrum, like alcohol craves.
Common sense dictates that if you don’t feel comfortable with anything going on in a public place, you go. But the discomfort is real. That’s why I enjoyed it so much a few years ago that a woman from Pennsylvania posted an opportunity on Reddit for people to ask her all the invasive questions they always wanted to ask trans people. At the time, BBC.com reported on the Reddit post of 24-year-old Gwen. The article is worth revisiting now.
Gwen helped not only curiosity seekers, but also those who were really trying to understand and empathize. It’s a useful introduction if you’ve never met transgender people and want to learn more about them and what is – and isn’t – appropriate to ask. The more we learn, the more we will be accepted and the less beer there will be thrown into restaurants.
The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. All opinions expressed are those of Judi.
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