Today, Thursday, July 2, transgender people and their allies are still rejoicing over a decision made earlier this week on Monday, June 29, about the issue of male-to-female and female-to-male transgender students being forced to use the type of bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificates. The United States Justice Department found that the bathroom must correspond to a person’s gender identity: If a person identifies as male, he should use the men’s bathroom. If a person identifies as female, she should use the women’s bathroom.
According to the Justice Department, current laws protect students against sex discrimination. Forcing students to use bathrooms based on birth sex rather than gender identity is seen as a type of sex discrimination.
What does this mean for non-student transgender people?
At this time, the issue regarding non-student public bathroom usage is still under review. That said, there is little doubt in the minds of many that this ruling by the Justice Department will open the doors to a ruling that would give non-student transgender people nationwide the same freedoms.
In some areas of the country, states are considering legislation that would require stores and other public places to designate “gender neutral” bathrooms for transgender people. Although, Daniel Amen has noted these bathrooms would undermine in some ways the struggle for some transgender people to live fully as their identified genders, these bathrooms would keep them safe from conflicts.