When A Transgender Person Uses A Public Bathroom, Who Is At Risk?

May 15, 2016

By Jeff Brady

One issue at the center of North Carolina’s so-called bathroom bill controversy is safety, but who’s at risk? Depends on whom you ask.

Supporters of House Bill 2 tend to focus on people born male who later transition to female. The HB2 supporters say that without the new law, sexual predators could just say they’re a transgender person with the right to use a women’s bathroom and easily gain access to potential victims.

“He could be there to look at the anatomy of the opposite sex. He could be there because he’s a sex pervert. He could be there to bring damage to a young girl,” says Ron Baity, president of Return America and pastor at Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Baity organized a rally at the state capitol last month to thank lawmakers and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory for making HB2 into law.

The legislation limits civil rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, preventing local governments from extending rights beyond what the state offers.

The part of the law getting the most attention requires public institutions — including schools and government offices — to ensure that public restrooms be designated “male” and “female” and used by people based on their biological sex.

Baity and others with similar beliefs offer anecdotal evidence — crime reports — to support their claims.

But those cases involve sexual predators who put on women’s clothes and violated any number of previously existing laws. And conflating “transgender” with “predator” is something many find offensive.

“As a trans person … it’s hard not to take it personally when people are comparing trans people to child predators or saying that we’re somehow dangerous,” says Alison Gill, vice chair of the Trans United Fund.

Gill points out that not long ago, many people incorrectly thought gay men were pedophiles.

She says some people just don’t understand that when it comes time for a transgender person to start using the other restroom, they’d rather do it privately, and with as little fuss as possible.

“The last thing you as a trans person would want to do is draw attention to yourself,” Gill says.

So far 17 states and many more communities across the United States include transgender people among protected classes for public accommodations.

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3 comments on “When A Transgender Person Uses A Public Bathroom, Who Is At Risk?

  • At a Grateful Dead (GD) show Mr. Baity and his ilk would have likely become so twisted, in the bathrooms, they would have started, to spin together, a cult. For those folks unfamiliar with a GD concert, every bathroom, more or less, became unisex during a concert, and for a brief time in the 90s there was a small cult of spinning dancers (people who would spin in circles who associated with a certain ideology, that apparently fell apart).

    This bathroom bill is a grand waste of public resources and time, especially with coral being bleached the color of a porcelain toilet. The bill’s unintended consequences (blowback) might actually advance social equality; although, I imagine there are many less expensive, and less stressful, ways to do it.

    Thought experiment:
    The bathroom bill law is enforced, on any given day a percentage of the population will use bathrooms in public facilities in various towns, suburbs, cities, etc. and of these people a percentage will be transgender individuals (TI). Most TI will likely be lawful and will abide by the law. A man sees a woman in the men’s bathroom and takes a picture with his iPhone/Android, and/or reports the infraction, and the facility’s management spends time/resources resolving the violation. In the end, the woman turns out to be a man. Repeat this scenario for women, reporting a man in their bathroom, an individual who later turns out to be a woman. Hopefully, during the time it takes to resolve the problem, nobody misses a doctor’s appointment, bus, plane flight, getting to work, birthday party, date, etc. Of these various encounters, it is likely a small percentage, or all, will involve police, police who could be using their time elsewhere dealing with crime, domestic violence, traffic accidents, etc. Of the encounters involving police, some younger/drunk/ornery TI individuals may get arrested for uncivil behavior, resisting arrest (felony), all of which will cost tax payer’s money to resolve unsettled claims . . . . Oh, I almost forgot, there will be a percentage of the population that will be civil protesters who will strategically cross dress, use a bathroom associated with their sex, to bait a false positive report, to waste the time of the management/police, to protest against the bill. Police departments will need to hire more police to address the community’s public safety requirements, in addition to having staff to address a report each time the phone rings with someone saying, “hey, I got a bathroom violation to report . . . .”

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  • I see Texas Republicans have put their ignorance on display and embarked on similar bigoted stupidity!


    Top Republicans in the US state of Texas have unveiled a bill that would ban transgender people from using the toilet of their choice.

    The Texas Privacy Act follows similar legislation in North Carolina that sparked protests and business boycotts.

    The Texas bill would force transgender people to use toilets in schools and other public buildings according to the gender on their birth certificate.

    “It’s the right thing to do,” said Lt Gov Dan Patrick as he set out the plan.

    “The people of Texas elected us to stand up for common sense, common decency and public safety.”

    Public bathrooms have become a flashpoint in the battle over transgender rights in the US.

    Like other conservative Republicans, Lt Gov Dan Patrick, who holds the second highest position in Texas government, has argued that the bill in necessary to protect women from being attacked by men in public toilets.

    But that argument has been rejected by opponents, who say legislation should be used instead to target sexual predators.

    North Carolina’s law, which went into effect last year, caused companies, entertainers and sporting events to pull out of the state, potentially causing it to lose billions in revenue.

    Despite that fallout, lawmakers in at least two other states, Virginia and Kentucky, have also introduced similar bills.

    As politicians introduced the Texas Privacy Act, or Senate Bill 6 (SB6), on Thursday, loud boos and chants could be heard from nearby protesters.

    A major industry group, the Texas Association of Business, said the legislation could cause the state to lose up to $8.5bn (£6.9bn).

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