“This is what 24 hours postpartum looks like. Baby in sling. Skin to skin. Adult diapers. And a rosy glow. My body feels like it ran a marathon and my heart is wide open from yesterday’s travels. Birth opens us like an earthquake opens the earth and I am still in the intimate, fragile throes of that opening. I feel raw. Emotional. Different. I feel like I’m on the undulating surface of the rippling ocean being tossed back and forth between happiness, gratitude, melancholy, and grief. 23 hours ago I held life within and 24 hours ago I surged and transformed allowing life to flow through me, into my waiting hands. The emptiness in my womb brings a heavy feeling crashing into reality but then this new little life whimpers, searching for the breast with soft rooting, and I feel whole again. I am still processing the beautiful transition my whole family has traveled through and I am in complete awe of our strength as humans, women, and mothers. This time is simply unlike any other.”
Yesterday, the Texas state senate voted to advance a bill that would ban transgender people from using bathrooms that affirm their gender identity. SB6 will now move to the Texas house of representatives.
If passed, SB6 would apply to public schools, universities and government buildings (i.e. that’s where trans people would be forced to use bathrooms based on their birth-assigned sex), but not privately-owned businesses.
The primary sponsor of the bill, Republican Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, gave an emotive speech to begin the debate on Tuesday, taking issue with the notion that the bill is a solution in search of a problem, as many of her Democratic colleagues alleged.
“I will tell you as a woman, this is not a joke. This is about dressing rooms, lockers, showers and restrooms. This is about privacy and protection for all people,” Kolkhorst said. “It’s not perfect. It’s not easy when we talk about these issues. Cisgender. Transgender. How many genders are there? Are we created man and woman? Or do we internalize something different?”
And in final words before the vote on Wednesday, as she asked for her colleagues’ votes, she said she was being driven in part by religion. “I think the god I believe in, the cross I wear today, said there was man and woman,” Kolkhorst said, adding that the bill is “an attempt — maybe wrongly, maybe history will prove that it’s wrong — but I believe in my heart an attempt to be as inclusive as we possibly can when we, men and women … find ourselves in the most intimate situations.”
It’s not over yet. Even if this passes, it won’t be over yet. My heart is with you this week, Texas friends.
On the 6th of June 1997 at her New Jersey high school, 18 year old Melissa Drexler was attending school prom. Halfway through she used the bathroom and gave birth to her baby and cut the umbilical cord on a sanitary wear dispenser, she then strangled the baby to death and put it in the trash bin and returned to prom, ate food and danced with her boyfriend.
Teachers became concerned after they saw a lot of blood, but Melissa shrugged this off as a heavy flow. The school janitor found the newborn hours later.
2 weeks later Melissa Drexler was arrested. Prosecutors didn’t seek the death penalty and she pled guilty to aggravated manslaughter. Sentenced to 15 years in prison she was released in 2001.
Cis person: We can’t force trans people to use the bathroom of their birth sex!!!! Do you want this guy (picture of cis-passing trans man) in the women’s restroom???? Lol no we don’t want guys in the women’s restroom!!!!
Me, a non-passing trans masculine person: Hahaha yeah *laughs nervously*
Just so we’re clear, THIS is what it would look like if these anti-transgender “birth sex” bathroom laws passed. This is an FtM trans person. And, well, just a hunch here, but the woman in this picture would probably rather be using the bathroom with an MtF right now.
Here’s what anti-trans discrimination looked like last week in Alberta, Canada:
River Rising, a transgender woman, was told she wasn’t allowed to use the women’s restroom at a bar after showing the bouncer her ID. The bouncer asked her inappropriate questions about her body and told her that if she wanted to use the bathroom, she’d have to use the men’s room.
A female bartender even told River that she would “make other women uncomfortable” in the women’s room, and that if the owner were there, he’d kick her out of the bar altogether. A few days later, the bar put up a sign that said “You must use the bathroom of your birth gender.”
And then things got even weirder:
On July 26, the bar posted an apology on their Facebook page and announced that a bathroom had been designated as gender-neutral. But even that, Rising said, contained very problematic language.
First, the bar began the statement by claiming they’ve had “numerous complaints about males going into the women’s washroom” since the passing of Bill 7.
“The clientele that we serve are often under the influence of alcohol and some young men who are not transgendered [sic] have been claiming to be, to enter the women’s washroom,” the statement said.
The bar also said it has “no bias against those who are LGBTQ.”
Rising said that while gender-neutral washrooms are great, especially for nonbinary and genderqueer folks, everyone still has the right to use the men’s or women’s washrooms if they prefer.
Plot twist: In Canada, all of this is illegal. Transgender people are protected under human rights legislation — not that this wouldn’t have been humiliating and uncalled for if they weren’t. What an absolute mess. Hoping River is okay.