About WTF Bike
Safety is Not Guaranteed
I’ve heard “Safety Is Not Guaranteed” in different contexts throughout my life, and it can mean a lot of different things to me depending on what the statement is about.
Lately, cycling events and sponsors have been advocating that transgender folk travel to their events being held in states that are actively legislating to remove rights for transgender people because they want trans folk to feel included, usually they include some sort of statement that ends with “…if you feel safe.”
I believe this statement puts the decision on the trans persons shoulders unfairly. What if the organizers instead said “It’s not safe to travel here. We can’t protect you. You will be ok once you’re here but otherwise you’re on your own.” That might seem like hyperbole but if you are a person considering traveling through states where using the bathroom at a gas station or being pulled over by police can be anxiety inducing or dangerous, it is a very real proposition.
I know the world doesn’t revolve around transgender people. I know most people can go about their lives knowing that they receive very little scrutiny of their personal life. I put myself out as an example because I want others to know that transgender people exist and matter.
I don’t recommend things that aren’t safe. I live in Texas, and I would hate for people to travel here to spend their tourism money knowing that this state is terrible for the rights of anyone who isn’t a white male.
This Spring I’m planning a trip to visit states that are notably pro-trans: Washington, Oregon, California, and New Mexico. My partner and I are planning to move to Colorado within the year. Will that mean the government of Texas “won” against me? Maybe. Will I spend any more money in Texas after that? No. Does that mean that the states I was going to visit won? They made rules that kept me away. But I won’t be renting AirBnBs, eating at the restaurants there, or all the other things that go along with tourism. Maybe they won’t notice. I don’t really care, that isn’t my point. I’m standing up for my rights and going places I’m wanted and appreciated.
Are you a transgender person in a terrible state or place? What do you want or plan to do? Would you visit a place that has enacted rules to restrict your rights?
I’m planning to document my whole trip this Spring. Stay tuned for more.