At a meeting with citizens, President Barack Obama was faced a tough and straight-forward question regarding transgender rights and bathroom use.
The question was from a man in the audience and it goes like this: "With all the pressing issues that you have before you right now, why is the issue of which bathroom a person uses such an issue?"
To let people better understand and relate to the real issues, Obama started off by pointing out the problems that transgender youths often face in school: "What happened and what continues to happen is you have transgender kids in schools. And they get bullied. And they get ostracised. And it’s tough for them".
The President then pointed out that in their generation, people ‘suffered silently’, but now transgender people are coming out and living their lives more openly, which is why schools are asking for guidance.
"My answer is that we should deal with this issue the same way we’d want it dealt with if it was our child. And that is to try to create an environment of some dignity and kindness for these kids. And that’s sort of the bottom line. I have to say what’s in my heart, but I also have to look at what’s in the law. My best interpretation of what our laws and our obligations are, is that we should try to accommodate these kids so they are not in a vulnerable situation".
At the moment, the Republican party in various states is trying to pass laws similar to North Carolina’s HB2 that would restrict transgender people access to the public bathrooms of their choice. But they are faced by the oposition of Federal Government and several companies, artists, sportsmen and an important part of public opinion.
Well said Mr President!