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I'm late to this post, but as someone on this forum who identifies as Nonbinary and uses They/Them pronouns (as well as someone who works with LGBTQ) causes I just wanted to chime in with a few stray thoughts.

First, many women's groups (and groups focused on other marginalized communities) are trying to step up and be more inclusive of people who aren't cisgender (people whose gender identity aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth) and may be a bit clunky with it without consultation. It's ultimately a good thing, but it does sometimes create some confusion if not explained well-- and also puts a target for anti-Trans people to target them. In my opinion, the use of the asterisk in this case was not necessarily the clearest way to communicate inclusivity, but it's good that they're trying.
On this note, when institutions like universities and corporations try to be inclusive, they tend to be even clunkier (and hypocritical) without consultation. Because in many ways, they're just trying to cover their asses so people won't call them out. Where this fails is when they don't follow through on their own statements-- continue hiring practices that are discriminatory, keep policies in place that put marginalized employees at a disadvantage, have leadership that still makes assumptions despite their "inclusive" nature (like the professors who continued calling one of you "Mr" in correspondence despite it being against their own rules. Ultimately, institutions "supporting" Trans and gender nonconforming employees/clients should be a good thing, but when they're haphazard with it, it just becomes a mockery of itself and takes away from the actual cause and point of these inclusive practices. 

Secondly, I saw a few points made that minimized people and their genders to their physical appearance and body parts. This is so common in discussions about gender, and as someone who studied Biology, I understand why people try to make points about "but science" around these issues. However, I must point out that science does not in any way say that there are only two genders-- or even only two sexes. Gender identity is, at this point in scientific study, found to be psychological (and gender roles/expression is psychological and social.) To say there are only 2 genders "because science" is silly and incorrect, because there is not one single biological basis for gender as a psychological/social identity. 
As for sex-- there are considerably more than 2 sexes in our human biology. Intersex (people whose biology does not fit into the neat categories of male or female sex; you may have seen the word 'hermaphrodite' before, which is outdated) people exist, and there are at least as many Intersex people as there are redheads in the world. Intersex people can have any number of variations to their biological sex, including chromosomal (people with XXY or XXX or XX and part of Y or XYY, etc) or physical (people who have parts of both male and female sex organs, some secondary sex characteristics of more than one sex, etc,) and because of stigma and bigoted attitudes, have to worry about judgment or having their bodily autonomy invaded with needless surgeries at birth.
For clarity's sake, I am not conflating Intersex people with Transgender/Gender nonconforming people, but I find it is important to take about the Intersex community because of the ignorance and stigma that surround them, and also because the "there are only two genders/sexes, science says!" talking point is entirely invalid.

Thirdly, Transgender issues tend to be minimized to bathrooms and locker rooms because those topics have been weaponized by anti-Trans people-- and it works. Talking about public bathrooms immediately makes anyone uncomfortable because it's a personal subject. You know who is most uncomfortable in public restrooms? Transgender people, who are assaulted in public bathrooms significantly more often than cisgender people, including trans students by their school administrators (stories like a vice principal telling a trans boy to disrobe to "prove" he's a male.)
But the problem with focusing only on bathrooms is that it ignores the myriad of other issues that Transgender people face, like employment discrimination, housing discrimination, being murdered because they are trans, having lower incomes, conversion therapy, lack of healthcare access, being banned from the military and other public spaces, etc...

Lastly, I do want to commend most of the people who have commented on this for keeping it civil and for, at least as it seemed to me, for wanting to have a genuine conversation. One weird and insidious aspect I've noticed from anti-Transgender bigots is that they try to cloak much of their bigotry as "intellectual curiosity," and frame their attitudes as open discussions that will draw people who have real questions and uncertainty into conversations that they think will help answer their questions. I confess that when I started reading this thread, I thought that was what this post was going to turn into, but I was happy to see that it was an actual conversation. I hope that the conversation continues, and that it continues to be authentically open.

I'm not super active on this forum, but as I said before, I do work with LGBTQ causes (as well as identify as Nonbinary) and would be happy to answer any questions or have conversations with any of you, if you're ever unsure about something or just curious. Always feel free to send me a message and I'll try to answer whenever I do log in.

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I'm late to this post, but as someone on this forum who identifies as Nonbinary and uses They/Them pronouns (as well as someone who works with LGBTQ) causes I just wanted to chime in with a few stray

I’m saying that I try not to be a jerk about these kinds of things.     I’m not sure that this post/thread is necessary, especially when to my knowledge there aren’t any women here, much less a

C'mon man, really? We're better than this.

26 minutes ago, lizphairphreak said:

I'm late to this post, but as someone on this forum who identifies as Nonbinary and uses They/Them pronouns (as well as someone who works with LGBTQ) causes I just wanted to chime in with a few stray thoughts.

...

Lastly, I do want to commend most of the people who have commented on this for keeping it civil and for, at least as it seemed to me, for wanting to have a genuine conversation. One weird and insidious aspect I've noticed from anti-Transgender bigots is that they try to cloak much of their bigotry as "intellectual curiosity," and frame their attitudes as open discussions that will draw people who have real questions and uncertainty into conversations that they think will help answer their questions. I confess that when I started reading this thread, I thought that was what this post was going to turn into, but I was happy to see that it was an actual conversation. I hope that the conversation continues, and that it continues to be authentically open.

I'm not super active on this forum, but as I said before, I do work with LGBTQ causes (as well as identify as Nonbinary) and would be happy to answer any questions or have conversations with any of you, if you're ever unsure about something or just curious. Always feel free to send me a message and I'll try to answer whenever I do log in.

 

Thank you for posting this. It's always good to see another perspective. I'd like to discuss this further too and maybe we can generate more understanding. That's a very interesting perspective on the bathroom issue, for instance. We'll have our differences of course, but I think it will be fruitful.

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6 hours ago, lizphairphreak said:

the "there are only two genders/sexes, science says!" talking point is entirely invalid

This doesn't seem right to me. The vast majority of people are clearly biologically male or female. There is a very small minority with some characteristics which makes for an unclear classification in certain circumstances, and those are resulting from a variety of conditions. This third category is somewhat well know, and the traditional catch-all term for this in the vernacular has been, as you put it, 'hermaphrodite'. So the point about two sexes isn't 'entirely invalid'. It's largely valid, with certain developmental abnormalities or syndromes which result in mixed characteristics.

See this link for a summary 

https://www.who.int/genomics/gender/en/index1.html

For some of your examples, though, it's not really clear those people are 'intersex'. For example, XXX females 'experience normal development of sexual traits and are fertile', and XYY males 'are typically fertile and many are unaware that they have a chromosomal abnormality'. They have chromosomal abnormalities, yes, but are fairly straightforwardly one sex or the other.

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I don't mind starting @lizphairphreak. Let me get a few (I hope) points of agreement out first:

1. No one should be coerced, forced, intimidated, or in the case of a minor child, suggested to get any counseling, procedure, hormone or conversion therapy that they do not want to get. A possible exception would be conventional counseling for a child who is having issues with gender dysphoria (or anything else).

7 hours ago, lizphairphreak said:

On this note, when institutions like universities and corporations try to be inclusive, they tend to be even clunkier (and hypocritical) without consultation. Because in many ways, they're just trying to cover their asses so people won't call them out

2. There's something to this I think - some organizations try too hard by walking on eggshells, I think. People, in my opinion, should be treated as normally as possible and the more they try to make an issue out of something, the worse they sometimes make it. I have no issue with using the pronouns that someone would like me to use for them, if asked nicely.

3. I'm no biologist, but I think we could separate sex (which is a physical/genetic characteristic) from gender identity. I'm of the belief that all biological males have some female personality traits, and all biological females have some male traits. There are shades of gray in personality traits. The only thing I would ask, particularly for minor children (and this is the flip side to #1) is again that they're not forced into undergoing any treatment that could have permanent effects, such as hormone therapy, etc. When I was a kid, I would play Barbies with my younger sister. I would pick up a doll and have it "talk" in a falsetto voice. Sometimes boys will put on their mother's old clothes, girls will want to throw the football around with their dad. I think this is perfectly normal childhood behavior and my parents never had any problems with it. I fear that these days there's such a rush to judgement, when things like above are not necessarily signs of gender dysphoria, they are things that the child will likely grow out of. I hear stories of children being removed from homes because a boy tells their teacher he thinks he's a girl and the parent doesn't immediately indulge him. If they reach 18 and still have doubts, or if they appear to be in severe psychological distress related to these things, are taking teasing because of it, that's another matter that has to be explored, but please let kids be kids, get them counseling as is appropriate, and wait until they're at least past puberty.

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On 8/14/2020 at 8:14 PM, admin_270 said:

This doesn't seem right to me.

"Doesn't seem" isn't really a counterpoint, it's an admittance of bias.

On 8/14/2020 at 8:14 PM, admin_270 said:

There is a very small minority with some characteristics which makes for an unclear classification in certain circumstances, and those are resulting from a variety of conditions.

"Unclear classification"-- Intersex. "Small minority"-- upwards of 1.7% of the world's population (estimated in 2000.) 

On 8/14/2020 at 8:14 PM, admin_270 said:

t's largely valid, with certain developmental abnormalities or syndromes which result in mixed characteristics

"Mixed characteristics" that don't adhere to the traditional belief in 2 sexes.

On 8/14/2020 at 8:14 PM, admin_270 said:

For some of your examples, though, it's not really clear those people are 'intersex'. For example, XXX females 'experience normal development of sexual traits and are fertile', and XYY males 'are typically fertile and many are unaware that they have a chromosomal abnormality'.

I get what you mean here, and know that this is a debate in the scientific community and even within Intersex communities. Chromosomal differences don't necessarily lead to phenotypes that lead to forced surgeries for physical abnormalities for Intersex people, which is where some people draw the line in definition. 

At the end of the day, a lot of this is still being debated and explored by biologists, the point of me bringing it up is that there is the common "look at science, there are only 2 sexes!" argument used in these discussions, which just is not true. Even if, in your words, it's a small minority or caused by a variety of causes-- there are more than just "the 2 sexes" that are discussed.

Thank you for including the WHO link. I particularly enjoyed this paragraph from it, which is probably a bit more pressing than some unclear/still-being-explored-and-debated biological argument:
"Gender, typically described in terms of masculinity and femininity, is a social construction that varies across different cultures and over time. (6) There are a number of cultures, for example, in which greater gender diversity exists and sex and gender are not always neatly divided along binary lines such as male and female or homosexual and heterosexual. The Berdache in North America, the fa’afafine (Samoan for “the way of a woman”) in the Pacific, and the kathoey in Thailand are all examples of different gender categories that differ from the traditional Western division of people into males and females. Further, among certain North American native communities, gender is seen more in terms of a continuum than categories, with special acknowledgement of “two-spirited” people who encompass both masculine and feminine qualities and characteristics. It is apparent, then, that different cultures have taken different approaches to creating gender distinctions, with more or less recognition of fluidity and complexity of gender."

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On 8/14/2020 at 9:17 PM, servo75 said:

1. No one should be coerced, forced, intimidated, or in the case of a minor child, suggested to get any counseling, procedure, hormone or conversion therapy that they do not want to get. A possible exception would be conventional counseling for a child who is having issues with gender dysphoria (or anything else).

100% agree on this. Banning conversion therapy for minors has to be a top legislative priority, and abusive conversion therapy is allowed still in far too many US states. I also agree RE conventional counseling, and I have advised parents with children exploring gender identity to pursue this if they have the means.

On 8/14/2020 at 9:17 PM, servo75 said:

2. There's something to this I think - some organizations try too hard by walking on eggshells, I think. People, in my opinion, should be treated as normally as possible and the more they try to make an issue out of something, the worse they sometimes make it. I have no issue with using the pronouns that someone would like me to use for them, if asked nicely.

In my experience, you can usually tell when someone who is actually LGBTQ (or a person of color/other marginalized identity in regards to other policies) has been consulted and involved and when it is a (maybe/maybe not) well-meaning person who is trying to be inclusive but not necessarily listening to what people are saying. For example, the difference between an organization that will ask employees to put pronouns in their email signature vs an organization that screams from the rooftops that they're having employees clarify their pronouns (a not superb example, but I digress. Basically an organization or business that is inclusive vs one that advertises how inclusive they are.)

On 8/14/2020 at 9:17 PM, servo75 said:

3. I'm no biologist, but I think we could separate sex (which is a physical/genetic characteristic) from gender identity. I'm of the belief that all biological males have some female personality traits, and all biological females have some male traits. There are shades of gray in personality traits. The only thing I would ask, particularly for minor children (and this is the flip side to #1) is again that they're not forced into undergoing any treatment that could have permanent effects, such as hormone therapy, etc. When I was a kid, I would play Barbies with my younger sister. I would pick up a doll and have it "talk" in a falsetto voice. Sometimes boys will put on their mother's old clothes, girls will want to throw the football around with their dad. I think this is perfectly normal childhood behavior and my parents never had any problems with it. I fear that these days there's such a rush to judgement, when things like above are not necessarily signs of gender dysphoria, they are things that the child will likely grow out of. I hear stories of children being removed from homes because a boy tells their teacher he thinks he's a girl and the parent doesn't immediately indulge him. If they reach 18 and still have doubts, or if they appear to be in severe psychological distress related to these things, are taking teasing because of it, that's another matter that has to be explored, but please let kids be kids, get them counseling as is appropriate, and wait until they're at least past puberty.

A lot here, so I'll go piece by piece.
1) Yes, sex and gender are separate, and that's a big part of educational work being done by transgender/gender-nonconforming advocates, because that is still a major point of confusion (again, the entire "there are only 2 sexes!" argument that I've been arguing against.) Many, if not most, anti-Transgender sentiments stem from a place that sex is equivalent to gender and that if you are assigned a certain sex at birth, then you must always be that, and not separate gender identity from sex in the manner you mentioned. 

2) As for personality traits, you make a good point about the gray area, and questioning what are "male traits" and what are "female traits." Some people are scared to break down those barriers because it's harder to think of people outside of how we are trained in society to view gender roles in binary ways.

3) So, there are very few cases where children are forced to transition, and arguments that use this as an example usually come from anti-Transgender propaganda (for clarity, I am not saying that you are spreading anti-transgender propaganda or talking points, I am just saying that these talking points usually do come from these messages) which is vastly overblown RE: forced transition/hormones because the messages are effective in scaring people. I said before and I say again, I am against conversion therapy and anything that forces people (especially children) to be something they are not, and so I too am against the idea of "forced transition." The issue is that this is exceedingly rare, close to the point that I want to say it does not happen (but I won't say that, because then I would be hyperbolizing myself!) What is more common, in this regard, is when a child knows from a young age that they do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth, and forced by their parents/school/society to be something they are not, and then go through puberty to develop secondary sex characteristics that they do not align with, making transition as an adult more difficult. This is, without hyperbole, exponentially more common than any cases of forced transition, and is one reason why transgender people/youth have higher rates of dysphoria and mental health issues.

4) I did want to mention that there are now treatments that are hormone blockers, which help postpone puberty, which I personally think is an incredible way to allow young people to explore their gender identity and expression because it helps them avoid going through a puberty that does not align with their identity, but doesn't go as far as a full hormonal transition when they may not be 100% sure they would want that either. This may be one area where we differ, as you mentioned waiting until after puberty has happened. But I do believe that hormone blockers to postpone puberty could have an incredible effect on transgender youths' mental health, and then they can make their decisions at 18/adulthood without having had to go through the wrong puberty first, making it easier to transition if they choose (or not!)

5) You make great points about children being willing to experiment a bit with expression, and not fit so neatly into binary categories. I agree with you, and I also, in many ways, think that adults wouldn't be as rigid in binary categories after childhood if it wasn't for social conditioning. Many people find comfort in binaries and traditions, but I, maybe naively, am hopeful that we can move beyond these definitions and people can feel much more free.

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15 hours ago, lizphairphreak said:

there are more than just "the 2 sexes" that are discussed

My point is that this is not *new*. The concept of a 'hermaphrodite' is very old, and quite well known. The technical debate, I suppose, is over whether each developmental abnormality which is classified as 'intersex' is a new 'sex' in some proper sense. My guess is the answer typically would be 'no'.

Regardless, most debates aren't about this. They are about people who are, say, clearly biologically male but want to use the female change room.

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3 hours ago, admin_270 said:

My point is that this is not *new*. The concept of a 'hermaphrodite' is very old, and quite well known. The technical debate, I suppose, is over whether each development abnormality which is classified as 'intersex' is a new 'sex' in some proper sense. My guess is the answer typically would be 'no'.

Regardless, most debates aren't about this. They are about people who are, say, clearly biologically male but want to use the female change room.

It strikes me as much, much more complex and involved than that.

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7 hours ago, Patine said:

It strikes me as much, much more complex and involved than that.

Not really, my dear Socratic interlocutor. The major flash-points are examples just like that, and indeed, that is a major one in the last while (biological males in female change rooms).

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13 hours ago, admin_270 said:

My point is that this is not *new*.

At what point did I imply any of this was new? Part of what I was saying is that Intersex people have always existed.

13 hours ago, admin_270 said:

My guess is the answer typically would be 'no'.

Again, a guess isn't an argument, it's an admittance of your own biases.

13 hours ago, admin_270 said:

Regardless, most debates aren't about this.

You're right, however, most of the biases of anti-transgender arguments tend to stem from the flawed understanding of biological sex that most people have, which is why I brought this topic in.

10 hours ago, Patine said:

It strikes me as much, much more complex and involved than that.

It is, of course, but I get what admin_270 is trying to say, in that the debate aspect of it does usually get distilled down into some more jarring/challenging scenarios (like public bathrooms and changing rooms,) in no small part because it makes people uncomfortable. It's also problematic, considering that there are really no instances of transgender women assaulting cisgender women in bathrooms,/locker rooms, and there are numerous examples of cisgender people (mostly men) assaulting transgender people in bathrooms (be they transgender women or transgender men.) But "men invading women's rooms to hurt women!" is a talking point that sticks... and has across many 'debates' about marginalized groups over the years.

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5 minutes ago, lizphairphreak said:

At what point did I imply any of this was new? Part of what I was saying is that Intersex people have always existed.

Again, a guess isn't an argument, it's an admittance of your own biases.

You're right, however, most of the biases of anti-transgender arguments tend to stem from the flawed understanding of biological sex that most people have, which is why I brought this topic in.

It is, of course, but I get what admin_270 is trying to say, in that the debate aspect of it does usually get distilled down into some more jarring/challenging scenarios (like public bathrooms and changing rooms,) in no small part because it makes people uncomfortable. It's also problematic, considering that there are really no instances of transgender women assaulting cisgender women in bathrooms,/locker rooms, and there are numerous examples of cisgender people (mostly men) assaulting transgender people in bathrooms (be they transgender women or transgender men.) But "men invading women's rooms to hurt women!" is a talking point that sticks... and has across many 'debates' about marginalized groups over the years.

You were referring to the most recent science, suggesting this was about recent discoveries. It's not - the existence of 'hermaphrodites' is age old, and basically anyone making an argument based on the idea of 2 sexes will be aware of it. They would probably say a 'true hermaphrodite' is a mix of the 2 sexes, not a new sex. At this point, you would get into the weeds about how to properly define 'sex'. 

Regardless, the point about 2 sexes is true for the vast majority of cases, and 'gender identity' is often orthogonal to the issue of how many biological sexes there are, as most people who are transgender are clearly biologically male or female (despite surgeries or exogenous hormones).

As to your last point, I don't think your characterization is quite right. Most people are happy to live and let live, and don't care much about these issues. The exception is where the issue impinges upon their own perceived security or freedoms in the world (security in the bathroom or change room, freedom to compete without biological males). You absolutely might be right that the concerns about these things are misplaced, but it's these sorts of concerns that are motivating the debates, not a 'let's stick it to a marginalized group!' psychology, I think.

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3 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

You were referring to the most recent science, suggesting this was about recent discoveries. It's not - the existence of 'hermaphrodites' is age old, and basically anyone making an argument based on the idea of 2 sexes will be aware of it. They would probably say a 'true hermaphrodite' is a mix of the 2 sexes, not a new sex. At this point, you would get into the weeds about how to properly define 'sex'. 

Regardless, the point about 2 sexes is true for the vast majority of cases, and 'gender identity' is often orthogonal to the issue of how many biological sexes there are, as most people who are transgender are clearly biologically male or female (despite surgeries or exogenous hormones).

The only new discussion I brought in is that Intersex is now being used (by actual people who are Intersex) and that the term 'hermaphrodite,' at least for human identity, is outdated and often considered offensive. Your insistence on continuing to use it seems like a fixation to me.
You're right about defining sex being an issue that is nebulous and hard to pin down... which is why it's strange to me that you're insisting on trying to draw out this discussion and, in turn, minimizing certain biological characteristics and occurrences because they don't match your point that seeks to uphold sex as binary. I'd recommend talking with people who are Intersex and learning about Intersex organizations, since it's always better to learn from people who share an identity than not (and, personally, I am not Intersex myself.)

8 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

As to your last point, I don't think your characterization is quite right. Most people are happy to live and let live, and don't care much about these issues. The exception is where the issue impinges upon their own perceived security or freedoms in the world (security in the bathroom or change room, freedom to compete without biological males). You absolutely might be right that the concerns about these things are misplaced, but it's these sorts of concerns that are motivating the debates, not a 'let's stick it to a marginalized group!' psychology, I think.

The correlation I was drawing is that dominant social groups (in our case, cisgender white men with money) often go to describing members of marginalized groups as being sexually violent (ie, Black men will sexually abuse white women, refugees and immigrants from Latin American and Muslim countries will invade and beat and rape women, ...transgender women will go into bathrooms to assault little girls.) Do you see how these are similar arguments that target marginalized identities? And none of them necessarily are coming from "we hate ___" but rather from "we need to feel safe and _____ people challenge that safety." And, again, these arguments stick and they color how people view marginalized groups, despite being baseless. If I was unclear about the correlation I was drawing, my apologies. Unfortunately, for people who are marginalized, the impacts of negative beliefs that stem from innocence are the same as if they were to stem from outright antagonism and hatred.

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7 minutes ago, lizphairphreak said:

because they don't match your point that seeks to uphold sex as binary

I don't know if the proper view is that biological sex in humans is two-fold, or if it is more appropriate to hold to 3 (or more). My guess in the end is little depends on this distinction, TBH.

I am just explaining to you a viewpoint in which people say there are two sexes. You seem to misunderstand the view, and think people who make the argument don't realize there are 'true hermaphrodites'. Of course they realize this.

 

 

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On 8/16/2020 at 5:12 PM, lizphairphreak said:

when a child knows from a young age that they do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth

But I still think that is pretty rare. I don't think that a child can reasonably be expected to be aware of things such as sexuality, their own or someone else's. Nor should they. I'm hearing reports, even from my own state, of school districts, particularly in Seattle, bringing sex education down to even kindergarten. That's just too early I think. I had no sense of sexual awareness of any kind until I was 13. Let them go through puberty first, rather than make a potentially irreversible decision based on what could just be a phase. I honestly think that any type of potentially permanent gender transition (hormones, surgery, etc.) should be banned for anyone under 16. Let them role play. If a boy feels like a girl, let him express it the way they want to. That's not to say some of these children may have genuine feelings of not belonging in their biological sex. But these situations need to be treated very carefully with intensive psychological evaluation by more than one expert before even considering such a thing.

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11 hours ago, lizphairphreak said:

but rather from "we need to feel safe and _____ people challenge that safety.

This is where we may differ a bit more. The transgender movement starts to lose me when they use language such as "we feel unsafe" or "having our existence erased." If there's a physical lack of safety I'd be interested in seeing the data before passing judgement. I think that, gender identity and sexual orientation aside, I feel much safer walking into a restroom with other men than a women's room where I'm the only male there. I certainly won't feel safe if others feel I'm infringing on their privacy. If I encounter 3 other guys in a mens room, I don't know who they are, what their orientation or identity is. And frankly I don't care, it's the last thing on my mind. I'm in there to take care of business and get out. The least interaction I have with anyone else the better. Among guys, even starting a conversation in a mens room with someone you don't know is a complete taboo.  Don't look at anyone or talk to anyone, just do what you have to do and leave. If a person walks in who, unbeknownst to me, happens to be transgender and is only using that room because the rules say they have to... I wouldn't tell the difference and couldn't care less. So I have to see someone make the case that a male using a bathroom or changing room with other males somehow affects their physical safety. It just makes no sense to me. In fact, it seems like quite the opposite. By contrast, if I walk into a women's locker room, whether it be an identity issue or just pure accident, I'm not going to feel very safe there because I know most of them don't want me there. In a men's room, they don't know who I am or what I am, nor do they even care.

I like the back and forth we're having here. I'm a very open person and despite my overall conservatism am very socially progressive and am very willing to make some concessions if, as is happening here, we both approach the topic from a place of reason and mutual respect. The problem I have is if someone (and I don't think you're doing this btw) treats disagreement about bathrooms, pronouns, etc. by saying that a differing opinion makes them physically unsafe or "erases their existence," that's going to put me on the defensive and I have a hard time coming to the table when that's how the conversation starts.

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