Monday, August 8, 2016

Why We Can't Be Quiet About Valentine Steaphon

The Drag Enthusiast is a movement that is responsible for educating people on the art of drag. But in the last week, a performer by the name of Valentine Steaphon was discriminated against in the restroom of a well known LGBTQ establishment. She was told that she couldn't use the women's restroom because her presence made someone else uncomfortable, and then was kicked out of said establishment simply for trying to use the restroom.

I get Boots and Saddle is a business and they were trying to make everyone heard, but as an LGBTQ friendly place, they need to realize that what they did was oppress someone who already deals with enough oppression on a daily basis. And it was at a place they felt comfortable at. Transgender women and men should be able to use the restroom they feel comfortable using, and it should be left at that. Because in reality, what's between someone's legs is no one else's business, and it has never been an issue, so why is it an issue now? 

Transgender individuals aren't trying to hurt anyone. They aren't trying to hurt you or your children. All they want is basic human rights, the right to use the restroom. Everyone uses the restroom. And what's sad is a lot of the people that I fight with about this are people who identify in the LGBQ rainbow, and we are supposed to be a community that fights together, all of us know what it's like to be oppressed and struggle as individuals, all of us have dealt with discrimination on some level throughout our lives, so why oppress the transgender community and discriminate against them? Things like this happen everyday and nothing is ever done about it. If you stand behind Boots and Saddle for doing this, then you're part of the problem, and I hope you realize you're justifying discrimination. And if you're part of this community, it's even worse, because you of all people know what it's like to be oppressed. 

It's a bathroom. It shouldn't be an issue. If you really think about it, it's pretty disgusting that someone would intrude on someone else's right to use the bathroom. On top of that, the establishment kicks her out like her voice doesn't matter. So many people face things like this everyday. The numbers of transgender individuals being murdered, especially trans women of color, rise everyday. We also have people committing suicide because they suffer so much oppression and decide one day that they can't take it anymore, and before anyone can reach out and help them, they already have their mind made up. This is not okay. It will never be okay. And we need to talk about this, we need to stand up for our community, and stick together. Because we will never see any type of change if we just let this go. 

Whether you like it or not, transgender people have been using the restroom of their gender identity for years. It's never been an issue. And it should never be an issue. Let's realize this and educate everyone. Not everyone is going to want to listen, but we should NEVER be quiet about this. I'm tired of losing so many innocent people because of who they are. I'm not transgender, but I have been made aware of what a transgender person has to go through, and it sickens me. Innocent people are scared to walk down the street because they don't know if it could be their last day alive. Someone could notice and murder them. People in this world are absolutely crazy and disgusting for taking an innocent life. And I know someone is going to comment and say "well this isn't someone getting killed it's someone that was told to use the bathroom of their biological gender", but the thing is it should've never been an issue. Ever. It's basic human rights. When will anyone ever be concerned about the safety of a transgender individual? If a transgender woman walks into the men's restroom, you don't think they could be raped or murdered or shouted at and called names? But we don't care, right? Cause it doesn't affect us. No. It's not okay. And I refuse to sit here and be quiet about this issue. We need to make a change. And it needs to be made now.

To Valentine, I'm sorry the staff at an establishment that is supposed to be open to everyone discriminated against you. And I admire you for not keeping quiet and making everyone aware of the things that happen everyday. I'm sorry you have to deal with such discrimination in our own community, but once again thank you for being a voice for those who feel they don't have one. You have my support as well as the support of a lot of other people. Know that. 

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