Have you ever been accused of something you didn’t do? It’s happened to me…more times than I can count. From about the time I was five, until I was ten, I was best friends with my mom’s best friend’s daughter (did you get that…it’s a little confusing). In the beginning of our friendship, things were good. But as we got older, things began to change. It became somewhat of a competition, but not one that I initiated. As my friend and I hit school age, there were some differences becoming apparent with us. I was skinny as a rail, and she struggled with her weight. I got good grades in school and she did not. I was popular…she not so much. Jealousy began to rear its ugly head. There were many times that she and her brother would get into mischief and when things were discovered they always blamed it on me. There were many days when my friend’s mom would get right in my face and yell at me…telling me that I was going to be responsible paying for the latest thing that her kids had broken.
Now that I have kids, I can appreciate how difficult and awkward this must have been for my mom since our mom’s were best friends. My mom did the best she could to defuse the situations. She even switched me from public to private school without telling her friend (there were other reasons for this switch as well, but she thought this might be a good break) only to have her daughter switched to the same school. My friend became very possessive of me and would be really mean to me for having other friends. Things came to a head when I was in the fifth grade. I had borrowed a book from the library at school. I don’t remember what book it was, but I do remember it was a big book. The kind that has several books published in one source. When it came time to return the book, I couldn’t find it. I knew for sure I had left it in my desk, but it was gone. My parents and I searched my house to no avail and I eventually had to pay for it. I remember it being a lot of money and I was banned from borrowing any more books from the school library for the rest of the year.
One day my mom and I were visiting with my friend and her mom. I forget how it happened, but we discovered the book hidden in their house. My friend had stolen it from my desk to get me in trouble. My mom realized that this was getting serious and drastic measures were taken. And when I say drastic, I mean drastic. Since we were neighbors, there was no real way to get me away from this girl…not to mention our mom’s being best friends part. So, my parents put our house up for sale. Yep…they sold our house. AND, I changed schools. But this time, we did it in secret. It was so hard for me. I knew at the end of the school year that I was leaving, but I wasn’t allowed to tell any of my friends. The school actually called the following year to see why I wasn’t at school on the first day. Luckily my friend didn’t follow me this time. I think they got the hint. I’m not sure how much contact my mom had with her best friend after that happened, but I’m pretty sure all ties were cut. It just wasn’t worth it and I think she realized at that point that I wasn’t exaggerating about how I was being treated there.
So, why am I talking about being accused of something I didn’t do? There was some talk in the media this past week about some states dealing with bathroom laws concerning transgender individuals. Now, I will admit I don’t know a lot about being transgender. I have met some mom’s who have transgender children over the past year, but I certainly don’t have first hand experience. I also don’t mean to imply that what I describe from my childhood above compares in any way to how transgender people feel when reactions to this bill come up. It is just a small glimpse on my part into how they must feel being accused of something that they have no intention of doing. I have noticed, and the media confirmed it this week, that every time this issue comes up (transgender individuals being able to use restrooms that they identify with) the topic of child predators comes up. Comments that people make imply that transgender people have an agenda of molesting children in restrooms. They may not mean to imply this, but it rings loudly to me so I’m sure it does to the transgender community as well. Just so you know…transgender people aren’t lurking in the shadows…waiting for each state to pass a law allowing them to use restrooms of the opposite sex so they can molest children. I mean really?? I’m pretty sure actual child predators aren’t biding time until such laws happen as well.
The definition of transgender is this:
Transgender is the state of one’s gender identity or gender expression not matching one’s assigned sex. Transgender is independent of sexual orientation; transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, etc; some may consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable to them.
Now I understand wanting to protect children. As a matter of fact, I never let my children go into public restrooms alone when they were little. Period. Problem solved. A transgender individual who is going to use a restroom will use the restroom they are most comfortable using. So, a transgender male to female will use the women’s restroom, and a transgender female to male will use the men’s restroom. Chances are they will look like that gender when they use the restroom. So a young girl will probably not see a man come in the girls restroom. I can’t imagine how it feels to be labeled as a child molester when all you want to do is use the rest room. As a matter of fact, transgender people are much more likely to be violated and have been attacked when out in public.
This only scratches the surface of this issue. It is a complicated one. But trust me when I say that transgender individuals go through a lot of turmoil in their life just trying to be who they feel God created them to be. I don’t know enough about the bills trying to be passed to say that they are the best way to handle this situation. I do feel, however, that everyone should have rights. At the very least, let’s change the way we talk about issues like this so that we don’t abuse the people who are in these situations.
I don’t have personal experience with a transgender child, but Debi Jackson does and she does a great job of explaining it here:
I just had to say something about this…even though I don’t have personal experience. My heart breaks for individuals who have to go through this because it’s been described as being trapped in the wrong body. Instead of being judged by people who have no real knowledge about what they go through, they deserve our love and understanding…because love matters…to everyone…no matter what.