By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Letter: Forget fighting over bathrooms; focus on real victims of abuse
Placeholder Image

I’m writing in response to the glut of Facebook posts calling for parents to eschew Target bathrooms and praising North Carolina’s HB2, which calls for people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the anatomical sex they were born with.

Transgendered people endure harassment and have alarmingly high suicide rates as a result, but I’m not here to refute the ridiculous claims by the religious right in regard to transgendered people. I am a straight, cis woman and all my attempts to educate these supporters is met with, “but you don’t know how they are.” Well, I do, and they are wonderful humans with no more and no less evil among them than in our straight, heteronormative population.

Instead, I’m writing to refute the insane argument that children and women are in danger because of where transgender people chose to use the bathroom. The very concept that rape and child molestation will go up dramatically if transgender people are allowed the freedom to use the toilet of their choice is insulting to me.

It is insulting because I was raped in a bathroom. My assailant was my ex-boyfriend who was nice enough when sober, but when intoxicated, he was violent and depraved. He is in my past, but I will always have the post-traumatic stress disorder.

It is insulting to my many friends who endured sexual molestation as a child. One person I’m close to was molested by an older female relative and the other friends tell of assaults from male family members.

According to the National Center for Victims of Crimes, only 14 percent of children who suffered sexual abuse were violated by an unknown perpetrator; 60 percent of child abuse victims were violated by someone within their social circle. The Rape Abuse & Incest National Network reports 82 percent of rapes are perpetrated by someone the victim knows. Transgender men and women in bathrooms are not causing our epidemic of sex crimes. The U.S. Department of Justice states that 50 percent of transgender people are victims of sexual violence.

If you really want to fight sexual violence then educate your children that they should never have “secrets” with adults and teach them to use correct anatomical terminology. Teach teens about consent and the intrinsic value of every person instead of picking on what teens wear. Donate to a national charity like RAINN or to one of our local organizations like Rape Response.

Channel that rage into fighting ridiculous laws that in some states requires a rape victim to share custody with a rapist. Decry the backlog of unprocessed rape kits and loudly condemn media outlets that misreport sexual violence. Stop legislating women’s bodies.

My body was used against my will. My friend’s bodies were used against their will. I will not allow the prejudice of the religious right to use my body to prop up a false reality that promotes the discrimination of others. My body refuses to be used to perpetuate hate.

Amanda Roper

Send a letter to the editor or email