Throughout social media, I read posts from friends talking about the House Bill 2, a bill law makers in North Carolina passed recently. The controversy surrounding the bill is mainly due to the fact that it requires transgender people to use gender assigned bathrooms due to the sex that they were assigned to at birth. Some people applauded this bill while others condemn it for discriminating against transgenders usage of using public facilities such as the restroom. Hence the controversy surrounding the enactment of the House Bill 2 and it relegating transgender people to using public restrooms that corresponds with the biological sex that they were born in.
The House Bill 2, The Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act was passed on March 24th through the state House 82-26 and 80-0 in the State senate. Many Democratic legislators were so disgusted by the bill that they didn’t vote and walked out of the building. However, many Republican legislators especially North Carolina governor, Governor Pat McCroy applaud the bill. In fact, McCroy was one of the Republican legislators that helped sign and enact the bill into law. Here is his tweet:
His tweet exemplifies his lack of understanding of transgenderism. Transgender means that one’s gender expression and identity doesn’t match their anatomy. In other words, a transgender woman may be born a male but feels like he is a female and feels trapped in the wrong body. And vice versa. Many transgender women go through surgeries to change their anatomy to match their gender expression and many also take hormones as well. A trans woman is NOT a man in a skirt just because she was born a male at birth. A trans woman is woman who transitioned into womanhood socially and surgically because of reasons unbeknownst to others.
Here is a clip back from another person on Twitter:
This man’s clap back at Governor Pat McCroy’s tweet signifies the nature of the politically correct society that we live in. His clap back represents the plethora of people who support allowing transgender women the right to use public restrooms that match the gender that they identify with. As more people become tolerant of transgender people and their rights, more transgender people will find themselves being treated with respect in a society. Hence it is important that voices that oppose the House Bill 2 be heard and noticed so that others can rally against it.
As a cisgender, heterosexual, Black woman, I oppose the ramifications of the House Bill 2. This bill will have a disastrous effect on the rights of transgender people and other minorities that live in North Carolina. This law bans local facilities from prohibiting laws that protect the rights of LGBT people from being discriminated against in local municipalities. There is a statewide non discrimination law but it doesn’t specifically protect LGBT citizens in the state. This leaves residents, who identity as LGBT, defenseless and without protection from being attacked and harassed in public. Transgender people are also required to use public restrooms and locker rooms that is also relegated to the biological sex that was found on their birth certificate. Transgender people can also use restrooms based on their gender identity IF they have the biological sex on their birth certificate changed to the gender that they identify with. Worst of all, this law violates Title IX, a federal non discrimination law that protects the rights of minorities and other disenfranchised people in the nation. Currently, the ACLU is investigating the House Bill 2 and finding ways to challenge this unjust bill.
Why do some people uphold and applaud the House Bill 2?
Many people, who applaud the House Bill 2, are ignorant of the biological aspects of sex and social construct of gender. Others have misconceptions about the transgender people and believe that transgender people pose a threat to the safety of people in public. Some people have grown as far as to believe that criminals and pedophiles dress up as women to have access to women’s restrooms so that they can harm women. While their ”concern” over women’s safety is being used as a cop out to promote ignorance and transphobia, LGBT citizens will find themselves in more danger than ever before.
There are some people, who are genuinely concerned about women’s safety in public facilities, when transgender people are concerned. Often times, these people are fed propaganda by others that transgender women pose a danger to women’s safety when occupying a public facility such as a restroom or locker room. There has been a belief going around that a transgender women will rape and sexually assault a woman in such spaces because it is in their ”nature” to commit such a deed. Many others fear that allowing transgender women into such spaces will allow child molestors, pedophiles and rapists to disguise themselves as women so that they can have access to women’s bodies. Unfortunately, there is some truth to such claims because there has been incidents of some transgender women that have sexually assaulted women in restrooms. But such incidents isn’t an indicator that all transgender women are capable of harming women when using public restrooms and locker rooms that match the gender identity that they identify with. There are some transgender women, who don’t mean any harm, that prefer to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms because they identify as women and were socialized to be so. Hence I believe using the concern over the ”safety” of women is a cop out to excuse the ignorance and transphobia of a certain demographic of people.
How will this bill affect transgender people of color?
Transgender people of color already go through transphobia, racism, sexism and misogynoir. Many transgender people of color are also victims of violence and sexual assault. However the passing of House Bill 2 ensures that Black trans women are stripped of their rights and protections under the state law. Their choice of toilet grounds based on their gender identity makes transgender people of color marginalized for suspension in schools. This bill also prohibits wage increases as well. Many transgender people and gender non conforming of color live on or below the poverty line. Refusing to increase wages only ensures that transgender people continue to live in poverty and continue to be economically disenfranchised. Worst of all, transgender people are scapegoated and subject to panic and unhinged frenzy due to misconceptions about their livelihood in society. If North Carolina state lawmakers were so concerned about the safety of women and preventing sexual assault, why aren’t more programs put in place to educate the public about sexual assault enacted? Why aren’t lawmakers enacting laws that protected cisgender and transgender women from sexual predators? Thus I believe this whole frenzy about ”protecting women” is nothing more than a guise to justify discriminating against LGBT citizens and their rights in North Carolina.
Most of all, I believe that the House Bill 2 is a disgusting piece of legislature. This bill also sets back the progress LGBT have made in this country regarding the viability of their rights in this country. Hence I am strongly against a bill that harms the safety and mobility of LGBT people across the country.
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