Colorado has some of the best laws in the country around the protection of trans rights, and our public accommodations law covers transgender and transsexual people, but we are still doing battle over bathrooms. Most recently, a six-year-old girl has been the target of discrimination when, despite our laws of protection, her school is not allowing her to use the girls’ restroom.
And now the state of Arizona, which brought us the most discriminatory racial-profiling bill in recent history, is back at it with SB 1045, which originally mandated discrimination against trans people and would pretty much force everyone, trans or not, to haul their birth certificates around with them in order to use public facilities.
Rep. John Kavanagh, a sponsor of the bill in the state legislature, has now “softened” it to allow, but not force, businesses and organizations to discriminate. He claims he did this in the face of public outcry. (Did he think there wouldn’t be any? He doesn’t know our Arizona trans community very well.)
So just as Colorado proves that a public accommodations law is not going to stop discrimination against trans people, Arizona is letting us know that it really doesn’t care.
And in the trans community, we know that laws such as the one making its way through the Arizona state legislature will negatively impact trans women the most. We also know that these laws are almost always based on an underlying premise of sexual predation.
In the face of all this, I would like to reiterate some of the points I make in Five Points for Non-Trans People About Public Restroom Use and add some additional points here:
> I lived as a girl and a woman for forty-two years. In that time, I used public women’s restrooms tens of thousands of times – at school, at work, in restaurants, in bars, in the mall, at concerts, and at every other possible public venue. In all of those years, not once – not once! – did I see the genitalia of anyone else in any of those restrooms. Over a period of forty-two years, I had no idea who was in the bathroom with me or what the other bodies in there looked like – nor did I care. (And I didn’t show anyone mine, either.) Continue Reading »