Thursday, March 24, 2016

NC Gov. Signs Transgender Shaming Bill Into Law After All Democratic Senators Walk Out

Charlotte, North Carolina recently passed an ordinance that would have respected and protected the rights of LGBT people.  The state legislature decided they could have none of that.  On Wednesday, the legislature introduced, debated, and--after every Democratic member of the state Senate walked out--31 Republican Senators passed HB 2, a bill that would deny Charlotte or any other municipality in North Carolina the right to self-rule on gay and transgender rights. The bill was sent to Governor Pat McCrory (R)'s desk and he signed it into law later that same day.  From time of introduction, to governor's signature: 10 hours.

In attempting to explain his support for the bill Mr. McCrory said, "The basic expectation of privacy in the most personal of settings, a restroom or locker room, for each gender was violated by government overreach and intrusion by the mayor and city council of Charlotte." 

what eye thynk:  Before I get into arguing the blazing flaws in Mr. McCrory's logic, I have to point out that this bill accomplishes nothing--except to shame those people who are transgendered--and this lack of respect for another human being disgusts me.  No one is safer.  No one is protected.  No one.

Now, as for the keep-our-little-women-safe issue: Maybe, if anyone in charge down there in North Carolina had put some thought into this bill, they might have realized that what they were accomplishing was exactly the opposite of Mr. McCrory's poorly thought out rationale.

I have a casual friend, a man I've known for years, someone with whom I've shared drinks and gossip on numerous occasions.  Just a few weeks ago, I found out that he was born a woman.  It makes no difference to me as far as our relationship goes, but I can't help but imagine if he were a total stranger to me and he walked in while I was standing in front of the restroom mirror at our local watering hole adjusting my Spanx.  Would I scream or die from embarrassment?  And would I be in danger of sexual assault because I could not identify the correct response quickly enough?

Now imagine a man walks in and moves into the cubicle next to you.  Do you assume he is trans and is being forced to use the ladies' room because of an accident of birth--the Republican equivalent of shame as aversion therapy?  Or do you wonder if he is some kind of pervert who gets his kicks from sitting in his hidey hole using a mirror to peek under the wall in order to watch you pee?  And how do you protect your child from this if she is with you?  

Welcome to North Carolina and a situation that every woman who uses a public restroom (with, in the governor's own words, a "basic expectation of privacy,") could face on any given day.

Or imagine you are a trans woman forced to enter the macho world of urinals and testosterone.  How safe will she feel? 

The point is, this new law doesn't make women--or men--safer.  If you live as a man and use the men's room or live as a woman and use the women's room, it's doubtful anyone would give you a second glance.  Life would go on; no judgement would be necessary; no one would be the wiser.  Now--being a woman my focus cannot help but return to what I perceive as personal danger--North Carolina has made it an issue and has given every male pervert in the state the right to walk into any ladies' room and stay as long as he likes to enjoy the show.

At the same time, they are forcing transgendered people to face a humiliating situation for no purpose other than to serve their own perverted concept of what is "normal." 

Later this year, I will be driving through North Carolina on a family errand.  I will be sure to visit a restroom in Virginia and refrain from consuming any beverages until I make it to South Carolina.  I'll feel safer that way.

1 comment:

  1. North Carolina government can be odd at the very least. We lived there for a year and while it was okay, I always had the feeling that it was way too conservative for me. Hence, the move back to Ohio. Although with our governor, I am not sure its any different these days.