Editor: As a recent graduate of Dickinson College, a school that has the same trans-inclusive bathroom policy that the Arlington County government just adopted, I feel the need to push back against Jenny Sullivan’s Aug. 8 letter [“Anything-Goes Bathroom Policy Will Create Issues”].
In lieu of an inclusive bathroom policy, trans people are subject to public harassment in public restrooms, unprotected by the law. Without a policy in place, many trans people do not feel safe/are not safe using public restrooms, the use of which is supposed to be a right available to all people.
Sullivan employed a transphobic trope in suggesting that this policy will perpetuate sexual harassment or assault. It should be noted that there have been no instances of sexual harassment, public nudity or sexual assault caused by trans-inclusive bathroom policies at my college, or absolutely anywhere else for that matter. More common are instances of sexual assault against trans people in public restrooms, which the county’s policy can help to prevent.
Lastly, in a world in which LGBTQ youth are five times more likely to commit suicide than straight youth, the drafting, submission and publication of such a poorly-researched and harmful letter is an irresponsible use of our First Amendment rights. I call on our community to hold public debate to a higher standard.
Ian White, Arlington