The other day I was grocery shopping with my 19 month old daughter. It was near the end of the trip and she was refusing to get in the cart. I had just convinced her to let go of the mini mouse toy she had rescued from the baby section - who think toy displays at toddler height in the baby section is a good idea? As I finished off the dairy section, I overheard two women restocking the shelves talking.
They didn't usethe word transgendered, but I knew right away what they were talking about. Words like unnatural, worried for the safety of my daughter, not worried about my son or myself, not right, bathroom and changing room, told me immediately what they were talking about and their opinion.
There I was with my little girl and I had to say something. I calmly informed them that as a mother of a young daughter I had no problem or worry about the safety of my daughter in using a bathroom accessible to a transperson. I also added that someone intent on doing harm isn't going to be restricted to a transperson.
They were cordial in acknowledging and half-heartedly agreeing with my last comment.
In my 39 years on this planet, I've only knowingly had two conversations with transgendered individuals. I've seen a handful more mid-transition - that's got to be the worst - from across the street. At less than 1% of the population, it's no surprise that most people have not knowingly spoken with a transgendered individual. And those that have so fully transitioned they have spoken too, they would never question their gender.
So why do people equate transgendered people with pedophiles and violent criminals when most trandsgendered people are the victims not perpetrators of crimes?
There has been a long standing Hollywood tradition of making the villain some kind of sexual deviant. From the cross-dressing Norman Bates to the woman suit-making Ted Levine in Silence of the Lambs. LGBT villains have horrified and titillate movie-goers for years. Unfortunately, they've also contributed to the stereotypes that LGBT individuals are disturbed, violent monsters. But they are people, no more good or evil than cis-gendered, heterosexual people.
The last thing a transgendered person wants to do is stand out because they are different. Hell, no one wants to stand out because they are different.
So no, I'm not worried about my daughter using a bathroom or changing room accessed by a transgendered person. I'm more worried about the 'normal' people like my coworker who collected and distributed child pornography without anyone suspecting. The world is full of dangerous people and the most dangerous often are the ones we already know and trust.