Trans people are protesting proposed discriminatory legislation

Public bathrooms can be a source of anxiety for many transgender and gender nonconforming people. Now, several US states and Canada are seeking to make it illegal for trans people to use the bathroom which corresponds with their gender identity. Texas, Kentucky, and Florida all have bills awaiting a vote; Charlotte, South Carolina recently rejected a proposal to expand their nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity. The failure to expand the policy had immediate repercussions, as trans women reported being harassed upon exiting women's restrooms.

However, trans people are fighting back with protests of all kinds. Brae Carnes, a resident of Victoria, British Columbia, has launched a campaign utilizing mirror selfies to draw attention to how "ridiculous" these proposed laws are. Carnes has already posted numerous pictures of herself in men's bathrooms, starkly juxtaposing her female identity with urinals in the background.

Carnes says, "I'm giving them what they want. I'm actively showing them what it would look like if that became law and how completely ridiculous it is. It's just not right."

Others have followed Carnes example and are now posting their own bathroom selfies. Some trans Canadians have starting using the tag #PlettPutMeHere on twitter, a reference to Senator Don Plett, who is quoted saying that permitting trans women to use female bathrooms "allows for pedophiles to take advantage of legislation we have in place."

The Old Capitol building in Tallahassee, Florida was the site of a rally earlier this month. Trans activists chanted "When trans lives are under attack, what do we do? Stand up! Fight back!" and held signs calling for liberation and "free to pee." A Michigan branch of Planet Fitness, a gym chain, recently defended the right for a transgender woman to use the women's locker room, despite complaints from another gym member.  

Transgender and gender nonconforming people have the right to use the bathroom which they deem correct for themselves. With so many proposed bills, it is time to take action to ensure that trans people feel safe in public spaces.