By Oskar Apple
Texas Senate Bill 6 is a bill that would prevent transgender people from using the restroom that corresponds to the gender they identify with. Stating a fine of $1,000 to $10,500 if they were to use the “incorrect” restroom.1 The main argument for the bill is that it would “protect the privacy and safety of our schoolchildren”.2 ; however, SB6 would not being doing as it is intended. Supporters claim that SB6 “will help a growing number of persons who have felt threatened or have been abused in restrooms and changing facilities as a result of dangerous bathroom policies.”2 Other states that allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom they identify with have not seen any rise in sexual crime since their legislation of allowance.3 In personal experience, I see that my transgender friends and I feel much safer and less at stake of violence in an environment where we can use the restroom we feel fits us. These statistics, taken from the TX State Report’s 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey4 speaks volumes in the actual state of affairs regarding transgender people in america.
“9% of respondents reported that someone denied them access to a restroom in the past year. In the past year, respondents reported being verbally harassed (10%), physically attacked (1%), and sexually assaulted (1%) when accessing a restroom. 61% of respondents avoided using a public restroom in the past year because they were afraid of confrontations or other problems they might experience. 36% of respondents limited the amount that they ate or drank to avoid using the restroom in the past year.”4
A good logistical point brought up by the Texas Students Against Senate Bill 65: “…However, SB 6 is entirely unenforceable, because people don’t take their birth certificates with them to the bathroom.”2
This bill poses a threat to transgender folks everywhere in texas. As far as we’ve come as a nation in supporting minorities, now is not the time to backtrack. This bathroom bill will ensure only the barring of transgender individuals from bathrooms, and take away the little amount of safety we as transgender people can feel in america. As a transgender man this bill is frightening, it is frightening to know that my personal safety and a trans person is up to a handful of people who are not transgender, and whom, based on past personal experience, don’t exactly love trans people.