Houston LGBT people lost some of their rights after last Tuesday’s election because radical conservatives claimed that the city ordinance would allow men to go into women’s bathrooms and molest little girls. The city’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) would have prevented discrimination on the basis of race, age, military status, disability and 11 other categories. The vote shows great ignorance about transgender people as Kelly Lauren pointed out in her photo on Facebook with the caption “Houston, do you REALLY want me in the same restroom as your husband or boyfriend?” Matthew Mills show this photo for a class project.
Lauren also wrote:
“I am 54 years old and have been performing for about 37 years as a drag entertainer. “I am transgender… The picture was taken several months ago but I reposted it when all of this nonsense happened… All I have to say is that I would get in way more trouble in the men’s room than I could ever possibly in the women’s restroom because I am THAT kind of girl! [laughs]”
Joni Rodgers wrote this for the Houston Chronicle:
“Skewing Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) as the “Bathroom Ordinance” was the latest ultra-conservative pitch for preserving their sacred right to hate on LGBT folks. The ordinance in no way authorizes men to use the ladies’ room. None of this is about the ladies’ room. Or the men’s room. It’s about the straw man’s room.”
Two men carrying signs outside Rodgers’ polling place, claimed that they were standing up for her rights as a woman. When she said that she had previously had a penis, one of them said, “You’re not a woman. You’re a pervert!” He decided that if she were a woman that she would have had bigger breasts. Rodgers said:
“So now I’m required to have large breasts to use the women’s room? What’s the minimum cup size? What if I’m a woman who’s had a mastectomy? Or what if I’m just a hippie chick who doesn’t wear a bra? How do you plan to enforce this policy if you can’t tell the difference?”
The man claimed that “God can tell the difference!” Rodgers asked if God was supposed to monitor the lady’s room. “Like he doesn’t have enough to do?”
“The ‘Bathroom Ordinance’ mentality is not about anything you’re doing wrong. It’s not even about who you are. It’s about who some stranger thinks you are. And some people think anyone who doesn’t fit the standard gender template is to be hated and feared.
“I wish I had a dime for every time I was called “sir” when I was in chemo. Perfectly understandable. I have the height of a supermodel, but I’m not stacked like one. I was bald as a grapefruit. My skin was too sensitive for any kind of makeup, and because I was in misery, I dressed for comfort, frequently wearing Gary’s oversized shirts with baggy cargo pants. I was aware of some stink-eye glances, but I was never genuinely afraid to use the ladies’ room. I wouldn’t feel that way today.
“I am not for a moment co-opting the disenfranchisement experienced by people who actually are trans or cisgender. I’m saying the promotion of ignorance and hate forces all of us to live in a city that is less generous, welcoming and intelligent than it should be.”
I recognize that the proposed HERO was about so much more than using a bathroom, but the focus of the battle against the ordinance was all about the bathroom. It is just the tip of the iceberg of discrimination against LGBT people. These photos show why the argument used to fight these rights is totally ridiculous. The bathroom police need to figure out that the transgender males below should be allowed to use the appropriate–male–bathroom.