Under the new legislation, individuals may choose to use the restroom or locker room designed for the gender they identify with and not feel forced to use the one that may apply to them biologically. Individuals will not need to show any legal or medical proof of their biological or gender identity.
The order also mandates training for municipal workers on how to support and enforce this new and inclusive policy, which follows the guidelines set out by the city’s Commission on Human Rights.
Naturally, such a sudden change in the binary “boys and girls” lesson we’ve been taught since childhood is upsetting more than a few people. Even for those who support the transgender or gender nonconforming communities, one of the biggest fears is that men will use the policy as a tool to enter women’s restrooms with poor intentions.
“Access to bathrooms and other single-sex facilities is a fundamental human right that should not be restricted or denied to any individual,” said de Blasio in a statement. “Every New Yorker should feel safe in our city.”
Scary as the thought of a stranger watching or attacking you in the bathroom may be, Mayor de Blasio’s executive order #16 is not as big a deal as its dissenters make it out to be.
Some of the biggest arguments against the policy are based purely in the hatred for, fear of, or disagreement with the transgender community. Clearly you can’t convince people who don’t even ‘believe’ in the concept of gender nonconformity to accept a law that allows individuals to choose the restroom they’re most comfortable in. Such social progress tears away at the very foundation of their limited world views.
But here’s the truth: gender discrimination has been a human rights violation in New York City since 2002.