Show Transcript
Georgia's religious liberty law, which allowed churches to opt out of conducting same sex marriages. Then there are the; quote, unquote, bathroom laws in other states that say people must use the same bathroom of the same sex they were born as. A lot of people are saying these laws are anti-transgender. This is just a few things coming up. What do you all think and does anyone, or should anyone, care? Just jump right on it. I think we should absolutely care. I'm so glad, kudos to you for having this conversation, because I always get infuriated when I think of us as oppressed people wanting to oppress others. Honestly, it does not make sense in my head. It doesn't compute. It's weird to me, because I don't spend that much time in the bathroom anyway. You get in, you pee, you wash your hands you get out. I don't even have enough time to process like, is this a real man? Is this a real woman? Gender and sexuality are not necessarily intertwined but there is a common prejudice against both. And it reminds me of a couple of things. One, that should have been expected because majorly white, upper middle class men were pushing the marriage equality Movement, which benefits everyone who wants to be married. But beyond the heteronormative stance, the reality is there are still laws on the books that anyone can be fired. Or their sexuality, definitely a backlash to change is what happened to women when they had the right to have abortion or just the response to feminism. This always happens. And we're never collectively prepared on the progressive end. It's a reminder that we need to continue to be focused on just because we get one thing doesn't mean a wave of other things won't happen right after it. There's these two e words that are so absent in these times and it's such a damn shame. And it's empathy and education. And empathy is really just being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes. That way even if you're not walking their narrative, you understand what pain is like it can be transferable to you. Education because we're just afraid of everything that's unknown. And I'm like, if we're moving to a space where marriage equality is accepted by all, okay, watching two people walk down the aisle, I don't care if it's a **** or Another P word, I don't know if you knew that, but if [UNKNOWN] a ****, or a vagina, you know what I mean? Like we've already crossed such a major threshold which is the isle, and now we care about the toilet? Well when they put up the city ordinance, they made it essentially like "don't let men in girls restrooms" which is a big misrepresentation of what You know, being trans is, but that prejudice allow people to vote against their own interest, not realizing now that that law is not there then that effects you. Someone can easily turn that around about you like ultimately this is still A prejudice, and it's a conservative movement pushing that prejudice, that will eventually be used backdoor to you, because in some ways trans people are facing a thing, I'm facing something as a gay man, I'm facing something as a black person. Mm. It's all interconnected. So people need to be very aware of, like when you go for one prejudice, it's giving permission for somebody to then Put that on you. The intersectionality I think is something that's really important to talk about because we act like it's completely isolated. This is gay issue, this is black issue, this is a woman's issues. But we are, as Michael said, all many different things. I'm black, I'm a women, I'm a daughter of immigrants. We all cross into different Arenas and areas. And I think that that's what allows us, as you said, to vote against our own interests when we start to put people in boxes and think this doesn't apply to me. Or we have a competition for suffering amongst oppressed peoples. Oppression olympics. [CROSSTALK] Issue is more important than the gay issue but he can't separate himself. I can't separate myself. We can't separate the different parts of ourselves. Like I'm a straight man, it's a law that I guess on the surface doesn't effect me but at the same time a lot of the laws that got passed through the Civil Rights movement didn't just get passed by black people. It got passed by people who looked outside of themselves. So it takes people like myself and other people like me to be like, listen This is much bigger than you. You have to let your voice be heard. I guess the difference is it's a lot of folks believing that your sexual orientation is a choice. Then the argument would be made, hey when I popped out the womb, this was the flesh that I came through in. [BLANK_AUDIO]

Transgender Bathroom Laws: Who Should Use What Bathroom?

A special 'ESSENCE Live' panel delves into the controversial North Carolina laws that have sparked conversation across the country about transgender men and women and where they should be able to use the bathroom.