I just need to use the bathroom!

NC Gov. misses point of transgender, offends humanity

    Effectively preventing local governments from setting their own anti-discrimination laws Gov. Pat McGrory of North Carolina signed House Bill 2, the Public Facilities and Security Act on March 23. This will end any further expansion of current anti-discrimination state laws and limit the discrimination claims that a person can make on the basis of “race, religion, color, national origin, biological sex or handicap in state courts.”

Among other infringements of human rights, the passing of the House Bill 2 prohibits transgender people from using the bathroom that best aligns with their gender. Gov. McGrory signed this bill in response to the Charlotte City Council approval of an anti-discrimination measure that allows transgender people to use the restroom that aligns best with their gender. Gov. McGrory claimed “the basic expectation of privacy” in restrooms or locker rooms “was violated by government overreach and intrusion” by permitting “for example a man to use a woman’s bathroom, shower, or locker room” as his reason for signing this bill into law.

    Gov. McGrory’s claims contradict the very purpose of the Charlotte City Council’s anti-discrimination measure, which allows “transgender people to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity” according to Fox 8 News In McGrory’s statement, he paints a picture of a man preying on women in a public restroom. In the fear-mongering picture, it seems the only threat to a person’s basic safety is a transgender person. To be clear, transgender women are not men; they are women. A person who identifies as a woman is a woman.

    Everyone’s identity is real and valid. Gov. McGrory’s assertions of a person’s gender dismiss the foundation of transness and gender as a social construct. Transgender, according to GLAAD, is defined as “a term used to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex the doctor marked on their birth certificate” going on to describe gender identity as “a person’s internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or someone outside of that gender binary).” It’s clear that gender is not about an identity that someone imposes on an individual, it’s about an individual’s very personal sense of who they are and their personal interaction (or lack thereof) with the societal construct of the gender spectrum. The contradiction arises in the fact that Gov. McGrory seeks to bring safety for women and children by passing HB2 although he allows the government to force transgender women into facilities they do not feel comfortable in. The government “overreach and intrusion” comes when you must present your birth certificate to someone before being allowed to pee in a public facility.

    Gov. McGrory told the Huffington Post that without the new law, we as a society would effectively “[throw] away basic etiquette.” This claim is ridiculous, not only because it implies that an entire group of people is dangerous and invalid for who they are, but also because it suggests that a person’s gender alone is enough to instill fear in people. Historically, transgender people, specifically transgender women of color, face a disproportionate amount of anti-LGBT violence, making up 62% of anti-LGBT homicide victims while transgender women make up 72% of anti-LGBT homicide victims. This suggests that the mere implication that transgender people are a power to be afraid of has triggered a heightened amount of violence and discrimination against them.

    Gov. McGrory offered another fear-mongering image:  “your daughter or son [showering] and all of a sudden a man walks into the locker room and says, ‘This is what I am’?” Asking, “Would you want that for your child?” The thing is, Gov. McGrory, what I’d want for my child and all children in this world is a better tomorrow where we can respect each other and live as our true selves. I want children, transgender or not, to understand that who they are is nothing to be ashamed of. I’d want them to know that no one — not even the government — has the right to tell them what their gender is. I want children not to be fearful of the people around them who only want to use the bathroom without the threat of harassment or violence. Selfishly, I want a world where I can exist without fear of punishment strictly for expressing who I am. What I want is a public facility where I can go to the bathroom. I don’t need or want a sign to tell me to go left or right. I just need a sign that signifies that there is a restroom open for public usage.

     Gov. McGrory, as a fellow human being, all I want is a place to go to the bathroom.