A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)
Shutting humans out of bathrooms has always been how we control, diminish, dehumanize, and restrict access of “undesirables” in our public space. (See: Hidden Figures).
I hear people talk about the “dangers” of these kids, of trans people, in bathrooms. I don’t know how to respond to that, since there are no statistics of trans persons committing crimes in public restrooms. Show me numbers of assaults by trans persons in bathrooms. Because I sure as hell can show you statistics of trans kids killing themselves, of trans kids being beat up, of trans kids being singled out for public ridicule. Of trans kids and adults being killed in public spaces, in private spaces.
Lord Jesus, I don’t know what to do with my anger today. I’m so angry, and so sad, watching our country legalize harassment against an already hurt and tormented and bullied group of vulnerable kids.
Because until you show me examples of the danger that a trans girl in a ladies room poses to others, then I just can’t believe that your restriction of facilities is based on anything other than discomfort, fear based on difference, and that big liberal word, “transphobia.”
Big liberal word. Phobia is just fear – fear of heights, spiders, closed spaces. But when you put “phobia” in front of a human being, because they are different – that is sin.
When we have a “phobia” of a person – a human soul – a person made in the image of God – a human loved by the Divine, a child of God – we are not following in the path of Jesus, who was unafraid of every person that He encountered on the way.
Today has been sitting heavy on my heart. I’ve been wondering if my anger is useless. I’ve been wondering what Jesus is saying into all of this.
I have been thinking of the verse “perfect love casts out fear.”
I wonder if conservative Christians are thinking about 12 year old kids, and their fear of them. Their fear of what these trans kids represent – a threat to a way of life, a culture, a religious institution. Their fear of changing norms around gender, bodies, what it means to be a “man” or be a “woman.” I wonder if there is conscious thought this 12 year old trans girl who wants to use the ladies room represents something that is terribly frightening.
But at the end of the day, this is a little kid. A little kid who will probably attempt suicide before she turns 18. And all she wants to do is pee, without making a fuss, without being teased, without being harassed, just walk into a bathroom and shut the stall door and use the toilet.
Perfect love casts out fear. Fear of cultural loss. Fear of change. Fear of loss of identity.
When you tell this little girl that she can’t use the bathroom, you’ve let fear of what she represents destroy your capacity to love her as she is. You’ve let fear win. You’ve been too afraid to love.
That’s not what my Jesus looks like.
My Jesus looks like a dusty, worn out man, ditching social norms and rules about gender to start a conversation with an isolated, ostracized woman coming out to get water in secret.
My Jesus sat with that Samaritan woman at the well, despite the social and cultural restrictions around men and women being alone together. Jesus sat with her, despite her own stigmatization in her community. Jesus sat with her, despite the religious discord and animosity between the two communities. Jesus sat with her, even though it was inappropriate, shocking, strange, offensive. Jesus let perfect love cast out fear.
I think Jesus would sit with that trans kid, too. I think Jesus would want us to open our homes, our kitchens, our bathrooms, our living rooms, to Gentiles, to Samaritans, to transgender people.
Don’t let fear ruin your ability to love.