On bathroom abuse

While commentators whip up hysteria over the imagined threat of trans people in toilets, here’s the reality.


Transgender youth, along with those who do not identify as male or female, are at increased risk of sexual violence in schools that force them to use bathrooms and locker rooms based on their gender assigned at birth, a study published on Monday said.

Correlation is not necessarily causation; it’s possible that the policies reflect an environment where anti-trans sentiment is more widespread, and it’s that culture rather than the bathroom policies that lead to the abuse. But whatever the reason, it’s clear that columnists and social media trolls are perpetuating lurid anti-trans fantasies while ignoring genuine and widespread abuse of trans teenagers.

There’s another well documented effect of this: trans people trying to avoid using toilets altogether. I do this: in an unfamiliar place I’ll avoid drinking so I don’t have to go, or wait well beyond the point of physical discomfort until I don’t have a choice. In schools, many trans kids contract urinary infections as a result.

We’re much more scared of you than you should be of us.