Transgenderphobia is infecting North Carolina lawmakers

Edwin J. Viera, Columinist

In 1789, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill opened up and would become the oldest state university open in the United States. North Carolina was put on the map again in 1903 when the Wright brothers – Wilbur and Orville – made the first successful powered flight by man. Finally, in 2016, North Carolina became one of the many states to discriminate against transgender citizens.

North Carolina recently passed a law that basically says all transgender people have to use the bathroom of the sex they were at birth. This law doesn’t just apply to people who are pre-operation transsexuals, but applies to ALL transgender people.

The real question is why was the law even passed. It reverses everything that people have worked hard for during the civil rights movement. How can this be?

Fear drives most human actions, and the fear of transgender people is the basic reason that’s behind this law. But is this more than just a fear of transgender people? It’s a fear of the unknown, which is commonly the driving force behind most rational and irrational fears.

This law is unfair because it restricts basic human freedoms that people are granted, which brings up an incredible question of what happens when people in power are afraid of the unknown. Or could it be more than that? I couldn’t help but wonder.

Is North Carolina bringing fear into law?

According to anthropology, gender is a social construct. We are born into biologically sexed bodies, but gender is defined by society. It’s hard to believe, but when you look into it more it makes enough sense.

In the show Ugly Betty, the character of Alexis Meade was a breakthrough in portraying the LGBTQ community on television because it was one of the few transgender roles on television. Originally Alexis Meade was born Alexander Spencer Meade who under goes the surgery to become a woman because he knew that he wasn’t comfortable being a man.

It was interesting because her father, Bradford, denounced the surgery so Alex faked a skiing accident to secretly have the operation done. This is the kind of transphobia that allowed this law in North Carolina to be created.

Fear. It’s something that can’t really be explained because of how people think about it. It’s fear that really drives the presidential campaign.

Maybe it was fear mongering that got the law passed. If people can scare someone enough about a certain issue, then it’s almost like a way to pressure people into voting for it. In this case, it seems that enough people in North Carolina legislature have transphobia and it scarred them into passing this law.

Fear or love of something is primary motivation for people’s actions. Sometime fear can override our better judgement and gives way to ignorance. This presents a certain conundrum in which I started to think; has ignorance become bliss?

It could be an uncomfortable experience for a transgender person to go to the bathroom of their born gender. Imagine a woman going into the men’s room. This isn’t just a problem for adults; think about what happens for kids who are transgender.

Kids have a major problem if they are transgender because then they have to go through the scrutiny of possibly being teased every day because they are a girl in the boy’s room or a boy in the girl’s room. More cons stem from this law than pros. In the end, who is this law helping?

“I can guarantee you in these two states that hate crimes are going to increase and people are going to be beaten,” Mike Bonin, L.A. city councilman said in an article for the Los Angeles Times. The worst part of his statement is that he’s probably not wrong. Somehow people should try find a loop hole in the law, and restaurants already have it.

One way that people could go around this is having unisex bathrooms, which some places already have. If you don’t separate the bathrooms, you’re not breaking the law, but are rather just using the loophole. In a country where people have grown so tolerant of transgender people, how is this sort of thing still happening?

For the June 2015 issue, Vanity Fair magazine did a complete spread on Caitlyn Jenner, and how she wasn’t living the life she wanted, and how she wanted to finally be who she wanted. I bought the issue, read the article, and found the story interesting. This is the kind of article that North Carolina legislature should be reading.

If knowledge is power, than who are the gods?

North Carolina is legalizing transphobia, fear of transgender people, and they won’t allow people to be who they are. Sure, it’s fear, but it’s something that needs to be stopped.

This law shouldn’t have even happened.

This isn’t justice. Laws like this give people a loss in the faith of the justice system because of all the law and disorder. Until the day we learn what drives fear, then people may never know how this law got passed.

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