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Dallas Restaurant Uses Transphobic “Before and After” Caitlyn Jenner Photos to Designate Genders on Bathrooms

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The Dallas Morning News Digital Editor Dom DiFurio was shocked when he went into a Cajun restaurant called Dodie’s Place in Allen, TX and saw that the bathroom doors designated gender by using “before and after” photos of Caitlyn Jenner, as you can see in DiFurio’s tweet above. The level of transphobia and the complete and utter hatefulness of doing something like that is astounding.

Then again, perhaps it shouldn’t be as surprising as all that, especially not in Allen. As DiFurio told The Daily Dot, “Collin County, where Allen, Texas is, as a whole is considered a conservative bastion in North Texas. I wouldn’t consider it a particularly great place to be LGBTQ.”

Then again, plenty of LGBTQ people do live there, as do many allies, so that’s really no excuse.

Most of you probably understand on-sight why this is problematic, but for those who could use a refresher course:

  • These photos stigmatize trans women by perpetuating the ignorant idea that one “turns into” a woman after having “been a man” when one is a trans woman. This implies that gender is nothing more than physical sex characteristics, when gender is also experienced neurologically, as highlighted in this New York Times article from last year, as well as this article from Scientific American, both of which make the case for transgender people having been born their experienced gender from the womb. They just weren’t seen or treated that way, which is where the gender dysphoria comes from.
  • This also perpetuates the idea that in order to be considered “woman enough,” one has to look a certain way, ascribing to a cisgender standard of what being female is, and as The Daily Dot points out, “It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of gender dysphoria, one that can lead to transgender women being discriminated against if they don’t pass.”
  • Lastly, this de-legitimizes trans identities by posting the constant reminder of Caitlyn Jenner having presented as a man for a majority of her life as a joke, not allowing it to fade away into the past. It’s hurtful and invasive to trans people.

All of these things lead to violence against trans people on a daily basis. 2017 has already seen the murder of 22 trans people in this country; a huge number when you consider that out trans people only make up about 0.6 percent of the U.S. population. All but one of those people was a trans person of color.

“Jokes” like these matter, because they reflect the values and spirit of a community, which encourages the behavior of the majority while putting the marginalized at risk. With this sorry display, Allen, TX has proven itself to value hatred, bigotry, and outdated notions about gender that have no place in our modern world.

(image: Vanity Fair)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.

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