Letter to the Editor 2-16-17

From  Michelle Barber, Interim LGBT Coordinator

In response to Martin Cothran’s Letter to the Editor concerning transgender students and “bathroom bills,” I would like to offer a few points intended for Cothran as well as Murray State students.

First, there are already transgender people using the restrooms of their intended gender. Research shows that 0.6 percent of the population identifies as transgender* and these folks study and work alongside cisgender people every day.

If any government passes a law preventing individuals from using the bathroom of their gender, their politics are likely based on thinking they don’t know any transgender people. To legislate the bathroom would, for example, force transgender women – many who fully present as women, by the way – to use men’s restrooms and vice versa. This would create more confusion than it seems Cothran and conservatives realize.

But to Murray State students, I will say this:

Martin Cothran does not, as far as my research shows, live in Murray, nor is he a member of our community.

Our community has 430+ faculty, staff, and students in the Safe Zone Program. More than 700 people participated in the March for Social Justice and Equality in January. Murray State has the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion and the city of Murray has a Human Rights Commission.

And lastly, the Murray State LGBT Programming Office is here for you. We are located in Blackburn 243. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

And you are welcome here.

*Flores, A.R., Herman, J.L., Gates, G.J., & Brown, T.N.T. (2016). How Many Adults Identify as Transgender in the United States? Los Angeles, CA: The Williams Institute.