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Policing the Bathroom Police

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Winter Laurel MullenixThis isn’t the first time I’ve had problems going to the bathroom. When I was 21 years old, I worked in an office complex. I was openly transgender and an activist for six years already. The whole town knew about me.

Employees at the water cooler, their Dixie cups overflowing with gossip, talked about that “tranny” they hired over in Building III. My coworkers filed complaints about bathroom use.

I was banned from the ladies’ room by human resources because my presence was “threatening.” They forced me to use the men’s rooms, but the men weren’t having it either. So, where did they expect me to go? I use the bathroom for one thing only. To pee. And that other thing. That’s two things.

Confused, embarrassed and about to burst from that gallon of tea I downed earlier, they allowed me a women’s bathroom on the very opposite end of the complex.

Authored By Winter Laurel Mullenix – See the Full Story at the Dallas Voice

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It Always Involves the Bathroom

Friday, November 1st, 2013

bathroom“Jim Crow states passed statutes severely regulating social interactions between the races,” states a Web page for the Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. “Jim Crow signs were placed above water fountains, door entrances and exits, and in front of public facilities. There were separate hospitals for blacks and whites, separate prisons, separate public and private schools, separate churches, separate cemeteries, separate public restrooms and separate public accommodations.”

“Some places had three restrooms; one labeled ‘white ladies,’ another ‘colored women’ and the third for ‘white men,'” is what the 2000 documentary film Out Of Obscurity, stated about restrooms in Jim Crow America.

Somehow African American men were considered sexual predators of white women, and that about a quarter to a third of lynchings were for alleged rapes of white women. “If it takes lynchings to protect [white] woman’s dearest possession from drunken, ravening beasts, then I say lynch a thousand a week,” said the first woman appointed to the U. S. Senate in 1897, Rebecca Latimer Felton. She was expressing her feelings about the alleged rapes of white women by African Americans.

Authored By Autumn Sandeen – See the Full Story at LGBT Weekly

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USA, Pennsylvania: New Law in Philadelphia Requires Gender-Neutral Bathrooms in Public Buildings

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Transgender FlagA new LGBT rights bill requires a gender-neutral toilet in all new or renovated city buildings, among other changes.

Gay Star News reports:

The bill, signed into law on Thursday (24 October) which affords equal rights to Philadelphia’s LGBT population, requires that new or renovated city-owned buildings must include gender-neutral bathrooms alongside male and female ones. Mayor Michael Nutter said: ‘My goal is for Philadelphia to be one of, if not the most, LGBT-friendly cities in the world and a leader on equality issues.’ The bill’s sponsor, Councilman Jim Kenny, has called it ‘the next iteration of civil rights and freedom in the United States.’ He said: ‘It can be an awkward and embarrassing situation [for anyone who may] feel more like a woman, but can’t use the woman’s room.’

It’s a good step – how long until someone sues the city to block it?

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USA, Texas: San Antonio Passes Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Texas mapGood news out of San Antonio – an LGBT anti discrimination ordinance just passed there in the heart of the red state.

The Dallas Voice reports:

Despite loud and vocal opposition from Christian extremists, the San Antonio City Council on Sept. 5 passed a nondiscrimination ordinance that includes protections for LGBT citizens and veterans. The vote was eight in favor and three against. The newly passed ordinance amends sections of the city code that cover public accommodations, fair housing, city employment, city contracts and appointments to city boards and commissions. The language in the code now includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and veteran status as protected classes. The changes will take effect immediately.

The language that had been added previously to allow businesses to deny access to bathrooms for transgender citizens:

“Nothing heron shall be construed as directing any policy or practice regarding the use of restrooms, shower rooms, or similar facilities which have been designated for use by persons of the opposite sex.”

Was ultimately softened:

“Nothing in Division 5 shall be construed as allowing any person to access to any sex-segregated place for any unlawful purpose.”

A small step forward.

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USA, Texas: San Antonio City Council Throws Transgender Citizens Under the Bus

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Texas mapIt looks like conservatives scored a win in the proposed nondiscrimination ordinance in San Antonio this week.

The Dallas Voice reports:

A new draft of San Antonio’s proposed nondiscrimination ordinance released Tuesday lists restroom use for transgender people under its exemptions. “Nothing herein shall be construed as directing any policy or practice regarding the use of restrooms, shower rooms, or similar facilities which have been designated for use by persons of the opposite sex,” the new draft states. Councilman Diego Bernal, the ordinance’s author, did not respond to requests for comment as to why the compromise was necessary. The ordinance had support from Mayor Julian Castro and six council members last week, which was enough to pass the ordinance. A vote is expected on Sept. 5.

I find myself more and more disgusted by the supposed fear that these people have of transgender folks. They have no understanding of the day-to-day realities the transgender people go through. Instead they present a distorted picture designed to instill fear of the other, of the child molester, of the abnormal. This country has a long ways to go to support our transgender brothers and sisters.

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USA, California: New Law Gives Transgender Students More Rights

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Transgender FlagA new law adds rights and protections for transgender students. Pink News reports:

The bill, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, shall take affect from 1 January 2014 and will allow transgender students the right to use whichever toilet they feel most comfortable using and the right to choose which sports activities to take part in based on their own gender identity. A clear majority voted to approve AB1266 with 21 voting in favour and 9 voting against when the bill was first brought to the California Assembly.

It’s a big step forward for transgender students to have the support of the state when it comes to issues that so directly affect their school lives. Maybe this law will make their lives a little easier.

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Arizona, USA: Lawmakers Delay Vote on Nasty Anti Transgender Bill

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

ArizonaYesterday, we reported on a nasty new bill in Arizona that would make it illegal for transgender citizens to use the “wrong” bathroom – i.e.: the one that didn’t match their sex on their birth certificate (we can only imagine the screening process this would require). Today, lawmakers are delaying a vote on the bill. LGBTQ Nation reports:

Arizona lawmakers delayed a scheduled debate over equal access rights after dozens of transgender people flooded the Arizona House of Representatives Wednesday to fight a proposed law that would have made it illegal for them to use the bathroom of their preferred gender. Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills, Ariz.) said he would delay his bill that seeks to make it a misdemeanor for anyone to use a public facility not associated with their birth gender. Kavanagh’s announcement came during the beginning of a House committee meeting filled with dozens of transgender advocates.

Sickening what these far-right republicans are doing to my home state. makes me glad to live somewhere else.

Arizona, USA: Nasty New Bill Would Jail Transgender People for Using the “Wrong” Bathroom

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

ArizonaWhile many state governments are moving to add protections for transgender citizens so they can feel safe using public restrooms, my home state, Arizona, is going in the opposite direction. God, I hate what the GOP has done to this once noble state. Edge Boston reports:

Arizona lawmakers have jumped in to the national debate over the rights of transgender people with a bill being debated Wednesday that would make it illegal for people to use public restrooms not associated with their birth gender. Advocates say the measure would be the toughest standard in the nation for transgender people and bathroom use, requiring Arizona residents to use the restroom of the sex listed on their birth certificate. One local TV station has dubbed it the “Show Me Your Papers Before You Go Potty” bill, a reference to the Arizona Legislature’s sweeping 2010 immigration law.

The GOP has become the party of bigoted, sad, misguided little people.

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