As I write this, Pride Month 2018 is drawing to a close. Two trans women in my social circle had very different experiences this past month. One found acceptance and a sense of well-being, the other one suffered from despair so deep that she took her own life.

This has prompted a lot of reflection on my part. Will (my significant other) and I have always been big advocates for the LGBT community. Through the years we have seen great strides being made toward acceptance and understanding. But I realize that I was lulled into feeling that the community in which I live is much safer, much more accepting, than it actually is.

Intolerance is only one of the daunting challenges that people transitioning genders must face. I think that for many transsexual people, the moment that they come to realize that they are meant to be the other gender comes as an epiphany. There’s this sense that this is the answer to everything; I was living as the wrong gender, and now I am living my truth.

If only life were so simple. Gender is really only a small part of who we are. While there are certain biological differences, and different mindsets that are associated with gender, there really are not that many differences between males and females of our species.

It seems like gender is a big deal because of how differently men and women are treated in our society. It seems like a big deal because of how hard people have had to fight to live their truth.

Transitioning genders may help an individual better his or her life, but it is not the solution to every identity issue. A sense of self is made up of many traits; gender is only one.

While discovering who you are is a personal journey, other people could at least make the space in which that happens a safe place, but there are those who choose to feel threatened by someone else’s personal choices. These are people who have so little going on in their own lives that they feel inclined to get involved in everyone else’s business. They are not willing to take on real problems such as school shootings and climate change, so they focus on something trivial like who is using what public restroom.

Gross public restrooms that no one really wants to use anyway but often have to out of necessity… that is what we are fighting over? Really?

How is someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity threatening anyone?

A man with several weapons walking into a school; that’s a threat. A gay couple ordering a wedding cake? That’s a business opportunity.

I actually want to find a public restroom that is used almost exclusively by homosexual people. When homosexuals move into a neighborhood, the place is cleaned up. I am willing to bet the same thing might happen with public restrooms.

It is not my intention to make light a struggle for acceptance; rather I wish to point out how stupid it is for people to want protect the sanctity of restrooms.

Hate is stupid. It is unproductive and damaging. It is truly a tragedy when a person takes their own life as the result of the stupidity of others.