We are all on a journey of discovering who we really are. Life is hard and complex, and knowing and embracing our true identity is a fierce struggle for us all.
Identity is, and should be, fundamental in our decision making, our perspective on life, other people, right and wrong, and the laws we champion as good.
There is so much disagreement about identity in our world, in our culture, in our own families.
What makes someone a male/man? What makes someone a female/woman?
These are critical questions we absolutely should engage with one another about.
But – in my opinion – not on the Internet. Not where you don’t know a person – where you haven’t fully and first listened to why they believe what they do.
Not where you can’t see their face, and hear their tone. There is so much misunderstanding already — text-only conversations where any random person can jump in and add their thoughts flippantly only drives the misunderstanding, hurt, and division deeper.
And loving others well is a foundation of the law I live by.
So. What is the point of this blog post?
First – it is *not* to express my beliefs about a person’s gender identity on the Internet, and it is not to engage with you about yours(though I will *listen* respectfully to whatever is shared)…
Again, I believe the most beneficial discussions are/should be *in person* with people *you actually know*.
The point of this blog post is to share the reality that there are people, like myself, who lovingly oppose the transgender bathroom use guidance/directive and policies who are not motivated by “hate” or “ignorance”.
What I have heard from loved ones is that if you openly oppose transgender bathroom use that you will be seen as hateful, ignorant, or at the very least intolerant.
I know a lot of people personally who oppose transgender bathroom use – and those character-labels couldn’t be further from the truth of why they believe what they do.
I can’t speak in specifics for others, but I can(and will in just a moment) for myself, and I think it’s important to do so in this public way because if you’re a person on a transgender journey, or if you have a loved one who is on a transgender journey, I think it’s *so* important to not make the mistake of grouping all who oppose transgender bathroom use becoming law as hateful, ignorant people.
Maybe hate and ignorance is all you’ve seen or read so far, and if so my heart goes out to you! In these few words I’m offering my position as one to consider.
This is why I’m writing: Because I want you to know you are loved – by me and others who oppose this change becoming law.
Here is how I would like to frame my opposition:
First – on the right hand side of your mind, place all people who are on a transgender journey.
Now – these are not the people I am about to talk about. Please let that be a crystal clear, entirely separate group from those I’m about to mention.
Second – on the left hand side of your mind, place all men who have committed some form of sexual abuse with a little girl, and all those tweens, teens, young men and older men who struggle with their desire to act out sexually with young girls.
(I know that men abuse boys, and women abuse children as well, but for the sake of this specific conversation I am referring to men abusing girls)
You and I both know, this is a *massive* group of men. There is a reason the movie Spotlight won an Oscar for Best Motion Picture this year.
Men who have, or who are tempted to, act out sexually with children is more common than any of us care to remember and think about.
So my strong opposition to transgender bathroom use is this: The reality is that transgender bathroom use law/directive/policies swing open a wide, socially-acceptable and legally-unquestionable door to that massive left-side group of men who may take the opportunity of a private, vulnerable place to groom or abuse little girls.
Can we agree that many men who abuse little girls are opportunistic?
This is not a hypothetical situation to me. One of my daughters was sexually abused a couple of years ago. In a bathroom. By a man.
I shared a little about the abuse a few months ago and I have never received more emphatic stories from readers saying “this happened to me, too.”
My daughter is, to this day, afraid of bathrooms — and boys and men she doesn’t know.
This is not about having a “tolerance” conversation. Nothing I could ever say could calm her terror if we were in a restroom and a man walked in. I cannot, will not, ever use a bathroom with her where this could even be an option.
Those of you who have been abused know the tenderness of the place, or similar places, where the abuse happened. A bathroom – because it is by design a private, more vulnerable place – is a space where much abuse has taken place.
There are many, many girls who have had similar experiences as my daughter.
Again — I hope as you’ve read you have kept two separate groups of people in your mind, because they are separate in mine.
I’m strictly talking left-group.
Those who know me know that I sincerely love and desire the best for *everyone*. Even people I don’t like (their personality), or what they do/have done… I wish them the best in love.
Wanting the best for each other in love is the only way we can maintain common ground in our relationships. And we need common ground with each other. We need to love each other well.
There will always be disagreement, even with those we love the most and choose to live our entire lives with(all spouses nod their heads to this truth).
So – let’s keep conversations open with one another. Let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt about their motivations. Let’s have grace with one another in the hard places of opposition where we are both firmly standing for what we believe is best. Let’s fully listen and consider the other person’s position.
Let’s speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Here, I am speaking up for the little girls who are in their own tender processes of discovering their true identities.
All in the name of Love.
Whoever you are, dear reader, you are loved.
By God, and by me.
No matter what part of your identity-discovery/uncovering/
You are loved.