To those who would support discrimination disguised as “religious freedom”…

Earlier this evening I was enjoying a nice, warm shower when I suddenly noticed a spider climbing down the wall. Now, let’s be clear, this was NOT cool. I am absolutely TERRIFIED of spiders. Well, I’m scared of creepy-crawlies in general, but spiders have a whole chapter in my book of things that simply should not exist. I mean, how DARE this little arachnoterror sneak into my personal space and threaten me at my most vulnerable! You can’t trust these little eight-legged monstrosities. Why, if I take my eye off him for a second he might leap off the wall and attack me, or drop down by my feet and crawl up my leg, or disappear into the shower curtain and wait to ambush me when I get out.

My first inclination (after climbing back into my skin and starting to breathe normally again) was to either smash the little invader with a shampoo bottle or try to rinse him down the drain. But I hesitated.

For sure, I was totally creeped out, but I also felt kinda sorry for the little guy. After all, spiders need water too (the internet tells me so) and, frankly, there aren’t really a lot of places for an icky little critter to hydrate in my apartment. I mean, there’s the toilet, but one slip and you’re swimming until I come along, scream, and flush you into the next life. There’s the sink, but that’s usually pretty dry unless you crawl down the drain. Ewww. I suppose, from his point of view, that nice, wet, shower wall was a pretty good find. Poor little dude was probably just thirsty. Who am I to squash him to death for wanting a drink?

So I let him be, finished my shower, and soon forgot about the whole thing. And guess what? Nothing happened. I didn’t get harassed, attacked, or inappropriately crawled on. All of my irrational fears of being mauled by a nickle-sized member of the Araneae community amounted to nothing more than pure paranoia.

Which got me thinking. A lot of folks seems to be raising a real ruckus about transpeople and bathrooms. But what’s the real issue here? When you happen to spot someone that you think is trans, what’s going through your head that your instinct is freak out and throw the shampoo bottle (in the form of targeted discriminatory laws)?

Any spiders discovered in showers will be prosecuted and possibly thrown in jail (probably in a cell with hungry birds instead of with the other spiders where they belong)!

You get my point. You would ruin the lives of others on the false pretense that they’re a threat when the reality is that you’re just scared. I think you would find, that if you just take a breath, set down the shampoo bottle, and go about your business, nothing bad is going to happen.

Honestly, that spider was probably terrified of me. I held his life in my hands. And I totally get that. Similarly, the extreme Religious Right (and politicians that thrive on fear) pose a far greater risk to us than we ever would to you.

So if I, of all people, could come to terms with sharing my shower with the very embodiment of my worst nightmares, maybe you can come to terms with sharing your restroom with a transperson.

Because when compassion triumphs over fear, everyone wins.


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