Bathroom Hysteria

It’s a scary society we live in if you’re transgender or gender non-conforming. With the passing of North Carolina’s HB2 prohibiting people from using restrooms that don’t match the sex on their birth certificate a new age of hatred and fear mongering for the transgender community has been ushered in.

It’s reached such a high state of tension, that even cis-gendered people are being affected by these bathroom bans and mass hysteria over who is using what bathroom and what genitals they do or do not have.

Recently, a father shopping at a Wal-Mart in Clinton, Utah was attacked in front of his two small children, ages 5 and 7, when he made the choice to take his 5-year-old daughter into the men’s room for her own safety. He didn’t feel comfortable allowing a kindergartener to use the woman’s restroom by herself.

Christopher Adams was punched in the face, kicked in his knee and shoved in an altercation that led to him having to defend himself from an unknown man, and in front of his children.

Earlier in May, a 22-year-old woman from Connecticut was harassed and verbally confronted when someone mistook her for a transgender woman. Aimee Toms had just donated her hair to cancer victims and was wearing a baseball cap over her new hair cut. The other woman in the restroom with her told Aimee that she was disgusting and didn’t belong in the ladie’s room before flipping her off. Luckily the situation didn’t devolve into violence.

These aren’t isolated occurances either, there are more cis-gendered people that are feeling the hatred and vile affects of transphobia that has followed bills like HB2.

In April, a Texas woman was harassed for using the woman’s restroom because she was dressed androgynously and a man mistook her for a male. Jessica Rush filmed the entire encounter and said it was alarming when a man twice her size confronted her in such a hostile manner.

Much like the others who have been verbally or physically attacked since the beginning of the bathroom hysteria Rush is not transgender.

The supporters of bathroom bans and discrimination against transgender people claim that they support such bills and laws in an effort to protect women and children from predators. Though it only seems that women and children being the ones being greatly impacted by bills like these, and not for the better but for the worse.

The instances of women or children being protected from restroom predators have not declined. If anything the instances of women being threatened while in the restroom has increased; however, the attackers are not sexual predators but rather self-proclaimed “concerned citizens” that feel these young women look too masculine to belong using the ladies’ room regardless of whether or not they were born with a vagina.

Earlier this year a young woman was thrown out of a woman’s restroom after being mistaken for a man. Cortney Bogorad was physically assaulted and thrown from Fishbone’s Rhythm City Cafe by a security guard who thought she was a man. Bogorad wears her hair short like many other women do and identifies as being cisgendered. Even after trying to present her identification to the security guard to prove her sex, she was ignored and literally thrown into the streets outside of the cafe.

In April, a lesbian woman was thrown from woman’s room by police officers after being thought to be a man despite her and bystanders protests of the opposite. This altercation was filmed by a bystander and uploaded to the internet like several other instances.

How many more women are going to be assaulted by a concerned citizen because they don’t look feminine enough to belong in the women’s restroom?

Another issue that a lot of people neglect to realize is if you force transwomen to use the men’s room, that puts transmen in the ladies room. It effectly puts people that are male in a woman’s restroom, simply because they have a vagina. That is after all the current rallying cry for these bathroom laws. If you have a penis you belong in the men’s room, if you have a vagina you belong in the women’s room, nevermind the people with ambigious genitals, they should just not use public restrooms.

These bathroom laws aren’t going to protect anyone, it’s clear from the track record their aftermath is leaving that no woman, man or child is going to be safe. There has even been people to make noise about shooting anyone they think is transgender that they see going into the “wrong restroom”. These trigger happy people are more likely to shoot and kill a cis-gendered person than a transgender person, and why? They dared to use a public restroom.

How far is the hatred and fear-mongering going to go? If we continue down this path I fear it will only be a matter of time before we end up in Hitleresque concentration camps, something that many people have already called for.

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