A person who is transgender is defined as someone “whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.” Transgender people come from all walks of life. They are dads and moms, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. They are coworkers, neighbors, and cousins. They can be 7-year-old children or even 70-year-old grandparents. They are a diverse community, representing all racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. “Transgender” has become a more modern term because it only came into use in the late 20th century, although people who fit this definition have existed in every culture throughout recorded history.
Transgender rights are considered a worldwide issue, but in order to truly address them there needs to be local intervention. Transgender people do not identify with their biological sex, so this issue brings up how to accommodate them and make them feel comfortable in the best way. Some communities don't even acknowledge transgender rights due to their very strong point of view while other communities are very open about the idea.
Today, one of the biggest controversies involving the transgender community asks the question: which bathroom should people who are transgender use?
There are many different viewpoints held by schools across America about the transgender bathroom situation. One in particular takes a very conservative stance, and proponents of this ideology believe that gender identity is completely based on one’s biological sex. In North Carolina, a bill was signed by Governor Pat McCrory that requires transgender citizens to use the restroom that corresponds to their biological sex. Other places offer transgender individuals the option of using a unisex bathroom.
On the other hand, many people take a much more liberal stance when it comes to the issue of transgender bathroom use. Proponents of this ideology believe that transgender people should use whatever bathroom they feel comfortable with. This liberal look at transgender rights typically views the option of a unisex restroom as a violation of human rights, not allowing members of the transgender community to fully be themselves.
One member of the transgender community, Gavin Grimm, identifies as a male but is biologically female. Grimm received permission from his principal to use the boy’s restroom at his high school in Gloucester, Virginia, but this sparked outrage and debate throughout the town, resulting in Grimm’s case nearly going all the way to the Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the circuit court level. Grimm's attorneys are currently arguing that transgender students' rights fall under the umbrella of Title IX legislation.
Currently, Royal Oak High School does not have any policy regarding transgender students using the restroom of their choice. When asked about the transgender restroom situation, Royal Oak High School administration claimed that they would be uncertain about the outcome of a transgender student using the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity.
The transgender bathroom situation is an extremely controversial topic that has taken flight across the nation. Some believe that transgender people must use the restroom that corresponds with their biological sex, while others believe that transgender people should be permitted to use whatever bathroom they feel comfortable using. This issue has gone all the way to the Supreme Court and continues to be aggressively debated everywhere in the United States. Royal Oak High School does not yet have any sort of policy regarding transgender bathroom use. What should Royal Oak High School’s transgender bathroom policy be? How should we settle the transgender bathroom debate? Is this even an issue worth debating?
Join the conversation using the hashtag #ROTransgenderBathrooms