Recently, the transgender community has received an immense amount of inequity – there have been accusations of multiple evictions of transgenders’ human rights. To put that in perspective, there are only thirty human rights, so accusations of multiple human right violations is a massive amount. And it is not just the magnitude of these violations that is appalling, but merely the fact that any rights have been revoked from transgenders. It is a paradox. A right is inalienable – it cannot be taken or given away. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a human right is a right that every human possesses, no matter one’s “nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other status.”
Some of these accusations have been derived from the North Carolina HB2 Law (also known as the “Bathroom Bill”) and the denial of transgender visitation to certain countries. What many of us take for granted, like the ability to use our gender-assigned public bathroom or the ability to travel to any place in the world, transgenders cannot experience.
The North Carolina HB2 Law declares that a person may only use the gender-assigned public bathroom according to the gender that is on his/her birth certificate. While some may believe this law is protecting cisgender people under the right to privacy, it ultimately suppresses identity and causes segregation, similar to the bathroom segregation granted by the Jim Crow laws.
Although something as simple as which restroom a person is allowed to use may not seem to have many human rights implications, the HB2 Law does because it violates the first, second, sixth, seventh, eighth, twelfth, nineteenth, twenty-fifth, twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, and thirtieth articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That is more than a third of the human rights in the Declaration, and that just has to do with using a public bathroom! Among those articles is that one’s rights are protected anywhere in the world. However, North Carolina has not complied by establishing this law that revokes one’s freedom of identity or expression. Additionally, our rights are protected under law, and since the HB2 law does not obey certain human rights, it is thus, unlawful. And even more recently, there has been speculation that our government is creating state laws that target school bathrooms around the entire country.
The effect the Bathroom Bill had on the state of North Carolina is a foreshadowing of the controversy that will follow throughout the nation. In addition, this would suppress students’ identities, which could be detrimental. If young people are not allowed to openly express themselves fully in their childhood and adolescence, later in life it will be more difficult for them to truly express themselves. Plus, this is NOT a state’s issue. If it deals with universal human rights, it is a global issue, and therefore has to be dealt with at the federal level when it concerns the entire country’s population. Hopefully, we can learn from the consequences of the HB2 law and not allow these laws to be put in effect.
These are only some of the ironic discrepancies the HB2 law poses. However, you may be wondering, if the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not allow for this law to be made, why is it an active law? Well, unfortunately, not all countries have copied and pasted the Declaration into their constitutions. Those of which evidently include the United States. In addition, there is no “global police” to enforce these rights all over the world. Despite the UN coming together to make this document, not all countries realistically follow it.
A member of the transgender community can be deported, detained, or even jailed when visiting another country. Internet personality Gigi Gorgeous traveled to Dubai to vacation but was detained and threatened to be thrown in jail if she did not flee Dubai. This was simply because she is a transwoman. Gigi claims to have had all of her documents in order to travel lawfully regarding her identity, so she should have been able to travel internationally with no problem. Yet, obviously her experience was not successful. According to Gigi, an airport official in Dubai was suspicious of her due to her physical appearance, and by that standard, she was “reasonably” detained.
Had the official not have speculated and “caught” Gigi as a transwoman, it would seem that she would have been perfectly allowed in Dubai. This demonstrates how stereotypical and discriminatory Dubai’s actions were. In this case Dubai is responsible for violating the first, second, third, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, thirteenth, nineteenth, twenty eighth, twenty ninth, and thirtieth articles in the Declaration. Again, this violation of rights is fourteen too many. We are all entitled to free will. If one of us is not rightfully permitted to travel, then the entire human race is locked up.
With so many human rights violated, it is clear just how much a single law or action can take away from a person. Basic activities cisgender people do not even recognize are protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes someone else to be discriminated against in the world for others to realize just how lucky they are. But we cannot just be grateful. We have to protect those who do not have the strength or power to protect themselves of their own human rights. No matter if you are transgender, cisgender, or identify under any other status, we are obligated to enforce each other’s human rights. We are the “global police” because these rights apply to us all, simply because we are all human.