By John Bonsignor and Paul Gable
Any time a controversial social issue comes to the fore, it brings along with it a variety of opinions that become so heated that rational thought becomes blurred.
The question of transgender bathrooms in Horry County schools has exploded into such an issue. The debate on this potent issue includes public fears, religious morality and political involvement.
At one time, this type of dilemma would not have been on anyone’s agenda as to many it is a non-issue. However, right now it is a hot topic as the controversial transgender bathroom is getting public and media attention no one thought possible.
Two days ago the Horry County School Board passed a resolution to say the administration would follow the law as it now stands (allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify or a private bathroom, whichever they prefer).
The school board also passed a motion to file an amicus curiae brief in support of the Gloucester (VA) County School Board, the agency in the middle of a lawsuit on transgender bathroom use.
Parents of non-transgender students continue to question the morality and safety of the decision. Parents of transgender students worry about the safety and stigmatization of their children.
For the reader…If you want to be a compassionate individual, try having a person’s anxiety who has a transgender body and their torment. Imagine the turmoil of how they feel trapped within a body they don’t want to have, but are not able to fully be the one they want to be. It is a self-torturing conundrum to have, trying to break loose from a feeling of frustration to one of freedom. For them it must be a joy to be able to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.
On the other side of the coin, is the moral consciousness of people who believe such a decision is immoral and sacrilegious to the core of morality. To them, crossing over from one gender to another is blasphemous.
Neither side is entirely correct or entirely wrong, as is always the case with highly emotional social issues. The conservative Christians are protesting the school district’s actions because they believe students should use the bathroom of their birth sex.
The Lesbian Gay Alliance Against Defamation is threatening a national boycott against Myrtle Beach because the school district is filing an amicus curiae brief in support of Gloucester County.
Both groups should keep out of the issue and let the school board handle it. The board is trying to find a calm path that follows recent court rulings while respecting students.
The unfortunate fear society faces, as this quagmire develops, is of voyeurs or sex offenders trying to take advantage of the situation by faking their gender and lurking in bathrooms, lockers and other common areas of the opposite sex.
There are no correct answers. It may even be that the correct questions aren’t being asked in this emotional issue.
However, for now the Horry County School Board is on the correct short term track as the legal process continues and a longer term solution is sought by the board and staff.