“Trans people are not just psychologically ill, but are actually possessed by demonic spirits.”

“Trans people are not just psychologically ill, but are actually possessed by demonic spirits.”

That’s an actual thing elected Colorado representative (and pastor) Gordon Klingenschmitt said last year on his Right Wing Watch television program, “Pray in Jesus Name.”

This walking turd is proof that transphobia is alive and well, even in progressive Colorado. Even here, the incorrect belief that trans people are perpetrators, or that they’re trying to somehow trick you into having sex with them, is still sadly pervasive. On a Daily Show interview segment with Jessica Williams, Klingenschimtt echoed this by saying that Colorado’s trans population was “Not only confused about their own identity, but they want the rest of us to be confused with them … They’re making us into liars. A (transgender) man can go into the ladies room, and assault you and your little girl.”

Let me really quickly tell you how many bathroom attacks have been perpetrated by trans women: zero. There are currently no reported incidences of any trans person raping or assaulting anyone, in any bathroom, ever. How many sexual assaults have been perpetrated by straight, cisgendered men? According to a study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 99 percent of sex offenders in single-victim incidents were cisgendered males, and 6 in 10 are white.

Beyond that, The Anti-Violence Project reports that trans people are twice as likely to experience sexual violence and seven times more likely to be physically or sexually assaulted by law enforcement. It. In 2013, 72 percent of hate crime homicide victims were transgender women.

Yet, despite the fact trans people are almost always the victims of sex crimes and assault, not the perpetrators, all kinds of anti-trans legislation that makes life even more dangerous for them is being passed as we speak. I’m sure you’ve heard of North Carolina’s recent anti-trans legislation that requires people to use the bathroom assigned to the gender that appears on their birth certificate? That fuckery is not isolated. Currently, seven other states are in the process of passing similar regulations, and there are 49 state-level anti-trans bills being considered all across the nation, 32 of which deal with bathroom access.

If you can’t use the bathroom at work, you can’t go to work. If you can’t use the bathroom at school, you can’t go to school. So, these bathroom laws marginalize trans people even further by preventing their education and careers. On a more personal level, think of the policing problems these bathroom laws create. Is there just supposed to be a law enforcement officer in every bathroom, checking people’s genitals and birth certificates? Or if there aren’t enough bathroom patrolmen to service every single honey pot statewide, will individual citizens be required to dick-check everyone who has to pee? Most importantly, will that kind of sexual assault be protected and allowed according to state constitutions?

As backwards as this is, I don’t see this recent wave of transphobia as sticking. The same thing that’s happening to trans people now happened during the fight for gay marriage. Bigot-y douchebags wanted to have a one-sided, demagogues-only “conversation” about how same-sex couples wanted to destroy the institution of marriage, but while their hate and religious agendas may have won them some battles, they lost the war. Marriage equality won. Their hate simply could not survive in today’s political climate where educated Americans are learning that differences between themselves and those of differing races and sexualities are negligible and trite.

It’s about time both we and our elected representatives realize that gender does not have to fit into a box. If it does for you, great. But if it doesn’t for someone else, who are you to interject, or worse, to define someone else’s biology based on your own personal beliefs? Or worse, to keep them from using the bathroom just because they’re not exactly like you? Just fuck off and let people be themselves.