Under the Guise of Privacy and Protection: Bathroom Policing and Trans Discrimination
In August of 2013, APIENC, along with many others in California, celebrated when Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266). This law reinforces the right of students—particularly transgender and gender non-conforming students—to choose the school facilities and programs that match their gender identities. Anti-LGBTQ conservatives tried and failed to force a referendum on AB 1266 last year.
This year, they introduced the Personal Privacy Protection Act, which, if signed into law, would require people to use facilities in accordance with their “biological sex” in all government buildings. Violation of this law would result in a minimum $4000 fine. Right now, our opposition is in the process of gathering enough signatures to put this on the November 2016 ballot.
It’s clear to us that this is a bathroom policing and transgender discrimination initiative that targets people who look different and don’t meet stereotypes of what someone considers to be male or female. It comes from the same place of transphobia and homophobia that renders transgender and gender non-conforming bodies invisible, unacceptable, and disposable in our society.
Transgender women, and particularly transgender women of color, are facing extreme violence in this country. This initiative would accomplish nothing but putting trans folks in greater danger every time they need to use a bathroom. It would also endanger and humiliate people who aren’t trans but may not meet society’s expectations of what a man or woman should look like.
API Equality – Northern California will be joining many other California groups in a public education effort to challenge the messages that are being disseminated about trans and gender non-conforming people in our community. Will you join us?