National transgender equality ad to air during Republican National Convention

GLAAD is proud to support a groundbreaking nationwide television ad depicting the challenges faced by transgender people in accessing public restrooms that will have its national television debut on FOX News Channel during the Republican National Convention.

As part of this new campaign to educate the public about the discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans across the country, the ad features a transgender woman from North Carolina, where HB2 passed earlier this year. HB2 makes it illegal for transgender people to use restrooms in public buildings that match the gender they live every day, making them susceptible to even higher levels of harassment and violence.

Read more about the campaign and the ad in today's New York Times.

The ad will air nationwide during the final night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Thursday, July 21 shortly before the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, accepts the Republican nomination for President of the United States. The ad will air nationwide again on MSNBC during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia one week later.

The video was released online today with a package of educational resources and materials at Between July 11 and its national network debut on July 21, we encourage individuals, organizations, and community allies to share links to the video and use hashtag #FairnessUSA.

Discriminatory laws, like HB2 in North Carolina, legislate that people may only use restrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates rather than their lived gender. Described as "the most extreme anti-LGBT measure in the country" by the national headquarters of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), HB2 is just one of many pieces of discriminatory legislation being introduced across the country. In 2016, lawmakers across 34 states have pushed more than 200 bills which would deny LGBT citizens equal protections under the law.

Transgender Americans are the targets of many of these bills, which prohibit transgender adults, and often students, from using public facilities -- like bathrooms -- consistent with their gender. Just last Friday, ten states sued the federal government over a guideline that would allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches the gender they live every day.

According to new survey data released by the National Center for Transgender Equality:

- Fifty-nine percent (59%) of transgender people have avoided public restrooms in the last year because they were afraid of problems like being confronted by others.

- A shocking one in ten (12%) transgender people report they have been harassed, attacked, or sexually assaulted in a restroom in the last year, and one third of transgender people have avoided drinking or eating so that they did not need to use the restroom.

- Eight percent have had medical problems like urinary or kidney infections from avoiding the restroom.

Multiple studies show that transgender people face heightened levels of discrimination that lead to disproportionately high rates of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, inadequate medical care, incarceration, and violence. GLAAD has created a reference guide for journalists to ensure that they can report on these policy issues. Additional resources for writing about the experiences of transgender Americans fairly and accurately may be found on our website.

The ad is funded by Fairness USA, a partnership led by the Freedom for All Americans Education Fund, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Movement Advancement Project, and Equality Ohio, with support from the Equality Federation and the National Center for Lesbian Rights