NC Government Passes Law Repealing Transgender Bathroom Protections
Governor Pat McCrory said the protections "defy common sense."
According to Reuters, last night, North Carolina legislators enacted a law that effectively removes the anti-discriminatory protections that were put in place for transgender people by the city of Charlotte and the federal government. Specifically, they’ve made it impossible for trans people to use the bathroom that matches with their gender identity. This goes for bathrooms located in buildings that are owned and operated by the state and federal government–think DMV, public schools, universities and the like.
Besides making the DMV even more unbearable for people like us, this bill has made it impossible for trans students to use the correct bathroom. Students–children–are being targeted by a government that seems to be hellbent on taking away their ability to tend to the most basic of all human needs.
To address this sudden shift in bathroom permissions, a community of allies has created the #IllGoWithYou campaign, which offers support for trans people who wish to use the bathroom but are worried about potential backlash from other people. In the most basic terms: anyone wearing an #IllGoWithYou button or who has previously identified themselves (via social media or what have you) as an #IllGoWithYou supporter is willing to–you guessed it–escort you into the bathroom.
This campaign has been in place for quite some time now, and is but one way of dealing with the now legalized hatred coming from state governments, and is one of the more prominent ways for allies to do something to help their trans siblings. If the hashtag sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a riff off of another campaign in which Australian people volunteered to ride with Muslims wearing religious attire: #IllRideWithYou. Trans allies often wonder what they can do to help their trans friends. Taking part in #IllGoWithYou is one important way.
I feel the need to point out, though, how ridiculous it is that we have to resort to finding escorts just to be able to go to the bathroom. This is a real, hard fact, a very real thing that we have to live with here in twenty-freakin’-sixteen. Don’t get me wrong, I am not hating or crapping on the hashtag or campaign at all. I am all for this, and it is downright heartening to see that some allies are trying to help in whatever way they can. This is straight up great. But I am saddened and depressed at the thought that this is what it’s come to.
Not too long ago, conservative trolls were advocating for men to enter women’s restrooms and changing facilities to protest these trans protections in Seattle. Despite that, the bill to repeal the protections was shot down. South Dakota found themselves in the same position North Carolina did last night, with another anti-trans bathroom bill progressing all the way to Governor Dennis Daugaard’s desk before being vetoed. As well, a similar Tennessee bill was felled by a House committee, but it isn’t exactly off the table just yet. According to the Tennesseean, the Senate seems to have picked up the bill, urging for its passage. Also according to them, Indiana and Kentucky also have bills that are making headway.
On the more positive side, earlier this month, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio signed an anti-discrimination bill that requires city agencies to allow trans people into single-sex facilities that are aligned with their gender identity.
It’s especially interesting to note that the North Carolina House of Representatives called a special session to enact this bill. The total time it took for the bill to go from creation to being signed into law by the governor? Less than 12 hours. This stands as a chilling reminder of the power of bigotry, proof that the government “can work” when it’s being exploited by the ignorance, hatred, and lies perpetuated by terrible people. It’s sickening to think that the Republican representatives of North Carolina will choose to focus on this solution in want of a problem instead of actually focusing on the very real actual problems that their state faces.
It could take days, weeks, even months to deal with something like educational funding or balancing the state budget. But when it comes to dehumanizing an entire population of people? Ain’t no thang.
Pardon me, but fuck all of that.
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