On March 24, it became more dangerous for a transgender person, like myself, to live in or visit North Carolina. North Carolina Governor, Pat McCrory, has signed House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, into law.
This bill makes it illegal for a transgender individual to use the bathroom closest to the gender they identify as.
A transgender person is someone who does not identify as the gender they were born as. House Bill 2 not only forces transgender people into an extremely uncomfortable environment, but also a potentially deadly one.
On top of that, this bill makes it impossible for any new anti-discrimination laws to be passed across cities in North Carolina.
McCrory ironically cites his desire to protect people as his reason for signing the bill. He said it was “passed by a bipartisan majority to stop this breach of basic privacy and etiquette.” McCrory is following in the steps of other bigoted people and organizations such as Fox News and The Daily Caller with claims that transgender people are sexual predators who seek to assault people in bathrooms. This is a popular argument, but has no grounds in fact.
Mic.com, a news site with millions of monthly visitors, went to multiple different sources such as the American Civil Liberates Union and The National Center for Transgender Equality to see if these claims had any truth to them.
What they discovered every time was that they did not.
There has never been a verifiable instance reported of a transgender person attacking a cisgender person (someone who identifies with the gender they were born as) or lying about their gender identity to enter a bathroom and attack a cisgender person.
As a transgender person, I have been lucky to never face the kind of hate that so many others like me have.
Even in places like the Stonewall Inn in New York, where transgender women like Marsha Johnson and Sylvia Rivera helped to spearhead the movement for equality, people are not safe. McCrory wants to protect people in bathrooms?
Maybe he should start by lending his support to people like the transgender woman who was sexually assaulted in the bathroom in a place where she should have been safe.
The signing of House Bill 2 is a slap in the face to transgender people who already live in a world where transgender hate crimes have reached a historic high, according to Time.com.
But in this one case, there is hope. A lawsuit has been leveled against North Carolina and the governor for the violation of the Constitution and federal laws which ban discrimination.
I can only hope that this lawsuit is carried out so that protections can be put in place to protect my fellow transgender people, my fellow human beings, who fight to survive through this hate and bigotry in North Carolina.