Going Too Far
So what happens if you’re using the restroom and become uncomfortable or feel unsafe based on the appearance of another person who is in there with you? Clearly, safety should be the most important issue at hand, but where does the comfort of one person trump the integrity of another individual who may not fit the societal norms of “male” and “female”?
For one woman in North Carolina, this nightmarish scenario played out on camera, showing us the worst side of just what House Bill 2 has made legal.
In the video on the next page, you’ll see an unidentified woman being forced out of the ladies’ room by police who refuse to believe that she’s female. Though a lesbian and dressed in clothes that your grandmother may not consider “feminine,” the woman proclaims her right to be in the bathroom as her friends defend her, shouting “This is a girl, and you guys are harassing her ’cause she’s a dyke?”
Demanding that she needs ID in order to stay in the bathroom—even though they don’t ask any of the other women present for identification—the police forcibly remove the woman amid protests. Admittedly, she acts indignantly towards the cops, but if law enforcement were denying you a basic human right based purely on your clothes and appearance, wouldn’t you be upset?
This video will make you sick…
The Real Issue
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At the end of the day, this story is proof that North Carolina’s bathroom law is not an attack on the trans community, but on divergence as a whole. There are transgender men and women all around us in society that you would never even bat an eye at since they are so convincing (and comfortable) in their assumed bodies and identities. Instead, what a superficial law such as North Carolina’s House Bill 2 does is attack those who, on the exterior, do not conform to our antiquated and harmful constructs of what makes up a man or a woman.
This isn’t about reproductive organs, and it’s not about sexual predators or the safety of children. This war on bathrooms is purely about finding and attacking those who refuse to live by the outdated norms of our society. It would seem that today, governments consider men in dresses or butch women to be more dangerous than actual criminals or offenders.
While personal safety is paramount, I think we can all agree that this goes both ways, and that we should be worried about protecting trans rights as much as the integrity of any man or woman wishing to use a bathroom or changing room in peace. Still, our country has a terrible track record of segregating public spaces based on physical characteristics, so I have to think that cops patrolling restrooms and refusing entry to people based on appearance can’t be the best way to go about it.
And really, if you have a problem with somebody using your bathroom because their genitals don’t match yours, YOU are the one doing something wrong.