In a recent post right here on Examiner, writer David McCaine wrote a story about a transgendered student at a California high school that was accused to sexual harassment when they used to female restroom at their school.
McCaine apologized for this story, as it was an absolute farce, however, his apology rings rather empty as he misses apologizing for the hateful content of the article itself. He titles the article “What a shocker… transgender male harassing girls in high school bathroom”. A better title to his story would be “What a shocker… a religious male is transphobic.”
McCaine quickly shows no surprise that a trans student would do such a devious act. The first line of this article “Stating the obvious is hardly news.” How is this obvious? An obvious story would be another cis male harassing another cis woman. This seems to happen everyday, sexual harassment or discrimination in the work place. The obvious and the rare are cases or transgender or transsexual harassment. So this story would not be obvious, it would be the exception.
I cannot deny sexual harassment exists in all communities of all kinds, but this does not make one obvious because you disagree with their lifestyle.
McCaine knows what he said was wrong and it is in print for everyone to see and judge for himself or herself, however, his words and the comments that followed in the discussion tell another story. A story that American’s have a long way to go before they understand what equality is and before they understand that they do not get to dictate what is right or wrong for someone’s gender identity.
Gender is a social construct. It exists only in our societies how we dictate them, we are assigned male and female genders at birth and we expect that you should live your life as your pre-assigned identity. This does not have to be the case though, if a male feels that they identify better and more comfortably as a female, who is anyone to say they cannot, or to say because they do this is sexual deviance?
Allowing trans students to use the restroom of their choice, as dictated by the laws in California is not special privilege it is equality. If you are identifying as female and are told you cannot use the female restroom, how is that person supposed to feel? What message does that send to that student, to other students?
It is suggested in the article that trans students are being given a privilege, yet then suggests that these students be given their own restroom, wouldn’t this be more privilege? The idea of a unisex restroom would solve harassment? What is unisex if not just a mix of both genders. So you then have male and female sharing a restroom? Telling a trans student they can use a “special” bathroom says to that student they are different, and that is the wrong message to send to anyone.
At the end of the article McCaine makes unsubstantiated claimed about what causes someone to depart from “normal sexual development”. What is this so called normal sexual development? Does he mean straight sexual development?
McCaine makes what are hurtful and ignorant comments that can and will cause many people around the world pain to hear someone tell them they are wrong. That it is their environment that makes them identify as a different sex, McCaine cannot fathom the idea that some people are simply born and assigned the wrong gender solely based on their biological sexual organs.
McCaine also seems to imply we can change these students, through education and indoctrination, because he claims until there is a gene that shows that trans men and women are born this way, that we can use psychological behavior modification to set them “right”. This is just a bunch of conversion therapy talk and is nothing more than bigotry and ignorance.
McCaine should be ashamed of his words and his empty apology that came only after being debunked for his lack of fact checking skills should be taken with a skeptical eye. McCaine may very well be sorry that he reported on a false story and was willing to ruin a child’s life publicly in such a way, but his apology does not make up for the hateful content of the story itself, the slandering of the transgender community and the call for psychological behavior modification are missed in his apology, because it is easy to assume he is not sorry for such remarks, he is only sorry he did so under a false premise.
The whole country needs to do a better job at reaching out the LGBT community as a whole and working to create a safe and friendly environment. As we make progress with gay rights, we must not leave out transgendered citizens. Humanists around the globe are doing wonders with the LGBT community, but as outlined here, even the humanist movement can do more for the trans community.
The work is cut out for everyone, but progress doesn’t come from sitting around and waiting. It comes from action, it comes from courage and it comes from people standing up against those like David McCaine who are using a media outlet to spread their bigotry towards people they view as “different”.