In light of the recent anti-transgender bathroom bills in Texas, Florida, Kentucky and Canada, one woman is standing up to the backlash with a selfie campaign that points out the absurdity of forcing trans individuals into bathrooms that don’t fit with their identity.
After Canada passed a bill in February making gender identity a protected class under human rights law, Sen. Don Plett proposed an amendment making public washrooms and changing rooms exempt from the bill’s provisions. In a direct response to the amendment, trans activist Brae Carnes began taking selfies in men’s bathroom to prove how little sense it made.
"I wanted to show how, if this amendment and bill became law, how ridiculous it would be to have these women in the men's washroom," Carnes told CBC Victoria. "I'm kind of giving him what he wants and showing him that it's out of place."
Not only do these kinds of bill directly demean trans rights and naively misunderstand the plight of transgender individuals, but they could also have violent consequences. A Williams Institute study found that 70 percent of trans respondents experience harassment or assault when using a public restroom.
Did you guys know on average a trans-woman is killed every 29 hours so far in 2015?? end the ignorance and hate #translivesmatter— ??????parks?? (@ALEXANDERWARHOL) March 6, 2015
Trans people face an unprecedented amount of violence and persecution daily — a threat that continuously remains ignored by their cisgender peers who take the same use of activities for granted. Bills like these reinforce the ignorant, heteronormative notion that gender is based upon what parts you are born with.