Despite recent steps forward in LGBTQ rights and protections, much of the states in the US still do not have legislation protecting the rights of these individuals. Transgender people are one of the groups with the most risk for harassment, discrimination, and assault. If you are a member of this group of individuals, it’s important that you understand the rights you have depending on where you live.
Hopefully one day we won’t have to worry about what our rights are based on our location, one-day protective legislation will blanket the country. But until then it’s important to know where we stand and understand where we are safe.
One of the biggest obstacles Trans people face is which bathroom to use. A lot of people worry that if they use the restroom, they will be harassed – or physically assaulted – either way. This has lead to Trans people becoming afraid of using the bathroom in public as they fear being harassed or facing the dysphoria they might feel if they use the restroom of their assigned gender at birth.
Here is a short list of which states have legislation which requires them to have bathrooms for Trans people:
California – This is easily one of the more accepting states in the union. The closer you are to the Bay Area – where San Francisco is located – or to Southern California, the more accepting people are.
The West Coast mentality, which is shared by some areas in Nevada, is very relaxed and accepting.
Colorado – Similar to California, most places in Colorado share a laid back vibe. Some might attribute Colorado’s accepting nature to the culture created around legal marijuana use. However, I’d prefer to credit the outdoorsy culture for that.
Vermont – A lot of good things come out of this state: including but not limited to Ben & Jerry’s, Bernie Sanders, and acceptance.
Other states – which include New York, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire – have legislation which protects people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, not their gender identity. So even in these states, while somewhat progressive, lack full protection under the law for LGBTQ peoples.
However, there are liberal areas where you might find that you will not be discriminated against. For example, New York City is easily one of the most accepting cities next to San Francisco. Plenty of places in this city are accepting of Trans people using their preferred bathroom.
Other places that are extremely accepting are usually institutions for higher education. Most colleges, with the exception of some religous universities, will have plenty of resources for Trans individuals.
They go further than just supplying private bathrooms or allowing people to use the restroom fitting their idenity. Many colleges have at least one LGBTQ club for students which puts on events and provides counciling.
Even though many people still live in fear because of who they are doesn’t match their outside, there are places filled with others who are brimming with acceptance.