Out of Ignorance and Into my Pants: Bathroom Laws Against the Transgender Community

With the passing of North Carolina’s Bill HB2 into law, the war against the transgender community reached an all-time high, or rather low. The bill designates that no one shall be allowed to use a public restroom or gender specific facilities that does not match the biological gender on their birth certificate. The aim of this bill was to prevent transgender women from using the women’s restroom, but it has done so much more than that. It has elevated the risk of men actually using the woman’s restroom and defeat the equal protection clauses in the United States constitution.

Being a transgender I know all too well the outrageous costs of transitioning from one sex to another so that your mind and body can be at peace with one another. Basic chest reconstruction surgery for  female-to-male transsexuals start at around $5,000 and the price goes up depending on the quality of surgery. Gender confirming surgery, or as most people call it “bottom surgery” costs even more than that, and has less than desirable results for those transition to male.

Due to the extremely expensive costs of surgery, and the fact that there are more states than not that allow discrimination based on gender orientation, affording these surgeries (which are rarely covered by any type of insurance policy) is often an unobtainable goal. It is effectively a pipe dream for a lot of transgender men and even transgender women who seek their own gender-confirming surgeries.

This often results in many transgender men or women unable to have complete gender confirming operations. In effect, many of us are only able to partially transition due to financial reasons. A simple google search of transgender unemployment rates will give anyone a good idea of why.

The rallying cry behind HB2 was without it women were vulnerable and needed protections to keep men out of their restroom, by men the backers meant anyone that was not born with a vagina. As happens far too often, they most likely forgot that this would put transgender men in the women’s restroom simply because they were born with a vagina.

Most transgender men look just like their cis-male counterparts after several years of hormone replacement therapy, and often before. I have yet to have chest reconstruction surgery because my family cannot afford it and I do not bind my chest, yet I have not been perceived as female since I began HRT a little over three years ago. Most people that meet me on the street have absolutely no idea that I am not a cis-gendered male unless I tell them otherwise.

This means that anyone that is male or perceived as a male could walk into the woman’s restroom and promptly announce that they were a transman or that they had a vagina, regardless of the truth. This bill has now allowed the predators that it sought to keep out of the women’s restroom to stroll right in, since demanding to see one’s genitals could be construed as sexual harassment or sexual assault.

This bill has also set the grounds for cis-gendered women who appear butch or gender nonconforming to be assaulted by overly zealous bystanders for daring to use the restroom that matches their sex and gender. It puts lesbians at an extremely high risk for assault as well.

HB2 has also forced transgender women to use the men’s room where they are more likely to be beaten, raped or worse, have their lives taken.

When someone that is transgender goes into the restroom, it is not to trick anyone or assault someone, it is to urinate or defecate. There is no master plan to molest anybody, in fact, 95% of the reported cases of molestation are perpetrated by someone the family or child personally knows, not a stranger in the restroom.
Banning transgender people from using the restroom of their perceived gender does nothing but denies them a right to privacy (it purposely outs them to anyone paying attention when they are forced to use a public restroom), it puts them at a high risk of sexual assault, physical assault, or being murdered. Most of all it furthers fear, hate-mongering, and ignorance that has the power to ruin innocent lives.

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