By Daniela Jusino
Transgender rights in public spaces continue to initiate debate in the commonwealth. In an ironic twist of he said, she said, conservative groups and LGBT activists are at odds to prove what is best for Massachusetts’ citizens.
Conservative groups, like Massachusetts Family Institute, insist that the uncertainty of someone’s gender could be detrimental and make public places unsafe. The transgender community agrees that public restrooms are indeed hazardous – for them. Many transgender people report harassment and crippling anxiety over possible harassment.
While the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, had once viewed being transgender as a mental illness, it has since been removed. Today, the community is just looking for acceptance and the same rights as every other citizen.
The Public Accommodations bill would ensure them the right to be in any public space, free of discrimination. MFI and its supporters argue that it isn’t about hatred or discrimination, but an issue of safety that needs to be addressed before men start entering women’s restrooms.