In light of the hate and misinformation circulating in the media with regard to the LGBT community, I think it’s important to establish some definitions for common terms.
Cross-dressing, according to Merriam-Webster, is “the wearing of clothes designed for the opposite sex.”
In popular culture you can see cross-dressing played up for laughs, or as a way for a woman to the able to enter into a “man’s world” i.e Mulan or She’s the Man.
Then we have people like Eddie Izzard, who had a great comedic career wearing at times jeans and heels with lipstick.
Drag queens or kings are cross dressers who put on shows in their opposite gendered role, and usually take on a new identity with their cross dressing. I disagree with Merriam-Webster defining all drag queens as homosexual. While it may be common, being gay is not a prerequisite for being a drag queen.
A transvestite is, according to Merriam- Webster, “a person and especially a male who adopts the dress and often the behavior typical of the opposite sex especially for purposes of emotional or sexual gratification.”
An example of this would be Tim Curry’s character in Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Transgender, according to Merriam-Webster, is “a person who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person’s sex at birth.”
Transsexual according to Merriam-Webster, means “a person who strongly identifies with the opposite sex and may seek to live as a member of this sex especially by undergoing surgery and hormone therapy to obtain the necessary physical appearance (as by changing the external sex organs).”
I place all of these definitions in front of you for a simple reason, I don’t think that the general public understands the difference.
After North Carolina’s passage of the “Bathroom Bill” aka as HB2, which is more problematic than which bathroom should someone use, the debate has begun nationwide. This debate seems to focus on allowing “men into women’s restrooms.”
The funny thing is, cross-dressers probably wouldn’t go into a women’s restroom, because they see themselves as men, maybe a drag queen at one of her shows, but if you are taking your little girl to a drag show, that’s your problem as a parent.
This is about “men” being allowed into women’s restrooms, and fear for the safety of little girls in public restrooms.
1: I don’t know any mother or father who would allow their young child to go into a public restroom alone. I have friends with children and I can speak from personal experience of my father covering my eyes and leading me into a stall in a public men’s restroom, because my mom wasn’t around and I had to go. The fear of something happening to your child in a bathroom has always been there, and now we are putting that fear on “men in dresses” and not paying attention to real threats.
2: There has never been a case of a trans person assaulting a child in a bathroom. Ever.
3: The majority of trans people do not go into the opposite gendered bathroom until he or she reaches the point where he or she can “pass” as the other gender.
Trans people are some of the most marginalized and discriminated against people in this country. Trans people still have to worry about intolerance, violence, sexual assault, and a public and criminal justice system that doesn’t take them seriously.
In a moment of relative wisdom, Donald Trump opined that all this law is doing is causing problems for North Carolina, that people were using the appropriate bathroom without any issue before and this law is causing undue economic hardship to North Carolina. Click here to see the video and read the article.