The question of where trans people get to go to pee has been in the news a lot lately. We’ve had a slew of states making laws that say bathroom choice must correspond with the gender assignment on a person’s birth certificate. We’ve got people screaming about boycotting Target because the retailer has said that staff and customers are welcome to use the bathroom or fitting room they feel is most appropriate for them. Apparently, hordes of people on Twitter think that’s the least safe thing ever to happen in the history of the whole universe, even though trans people have probably been happily using the restrooms and dressing rooms of their choice all along with no one noticing.
Then Donald Trump said that Caitlyn Jenner could use any bathroom she wanted to in Trump Tower. A tantalizing prospect, actually. You could make a whole season of I Am Cait just in Trump Tower. Caitlyn could go from bathroom to bathroom with her friends and primp and chat the whole time.
Now, not to be left out, Ted Cruz is jumping on the “birth certificates for bathroom privileges” train. He is accusing Trump of falling victim to the forces of political correctness and, over the weekend, told his supporters that, “If Donald Trump dresses up as Hillary Clinton, he still can’t go to the girls’ bathroom.”
If anyone catches up with Ted, can you explain to him the difference between “being a trans person” and “wearing a costume”? Because they’re really different. See, being trans means having a gender identity that doesn’t correspond to that assigned to them at birth. It’s a lifelong experience and manifests in various ways, depending on how the person chooses to present and identify. Wearing a costume is putting on clothes and stuff to look like someone else temporarily. You can take the costume off and not feel any ill effects. Like, Ryan Reynolds can literally take off the Deadpool costume and not be Deadpool at all. But if you, say, asked Caitlyn Jenner to go back to "being Bruce," well, she can’t do that — because that’s not who she is.
Cruz’s quip isn’t funny. It’s insensitive and demeaning to trans people. They are fully human and aren’t “trying to be women/men.” They ARE who they say they are. It’s not a costume.