jump to example.com

North Carolina codifies transphobia

lgbt | @nickfnord | Support this author on Patreon

In just 12 hours, North Carolina’s state legislature passed a “special” session bill superseding local anti-discrimination laws which protect the rights of LBTQA+ folk. The anti-discrimination laws superseded regard matters ranging from private matters like housing to public restrooms. No session of this nature had occurred in North Carolina in 35 years.

This upheaval reinforces that if marginalized communities are to get sustainable and more tangibly enforceable equality from society it must come first and foremost through direct action. But while the state is here and we have no other functional alternative it is preferable for everyone be treated as equally as possible under the law, whatever it may be worth.

Some are resistant to this claim, arguing that calling for anti-discrimination laws is calling for “more legislation.” But it’s actually arguing for the equality of authority that marginalized communities need recognized. Not because they’re “special,” but because our culture, our society and the state have disempowered them — an act that deserves recognition and condemnation.

As a trans person myself, I do not count on the state to protect my rights. Certainly no more so than I expect the state to protect the rights of cisgender folks. Largely because, as shown by the passing of this law, the state is an institution that can easily be grabbed by the most powerful and tailored towards their own interests and often to the detriment of the dis-privileged.

In this case of tailoring, the law not only supersedes anti-discrimination laws but also specifically targets trans folks. The bill constantly refers to bathrooms and Governor Pat McCrory has explicitly said that the previous anti-discrimination ordinances were absurd because they “defied common sense” by “allowing men to use women’s bathroom/locker room”.

The absurdity of this bill was starkly demonstrated by a trans man named JP Sheffield. Sheffield snapped a photo of himself with a full beard and very masculine features overall. But because Sheffield’s assigned gender on his birth certificate doesn’t match his lived one, he is forced to go into the women’s bathroom.

Given the nature of government it should come as no surprise that birth certificates are a bureaucratic way to impose restrictions on individual identity. Some states even require costly procedures to justify the change, which introduces class elements as well.

This bill doesn’t just hurt trans folks though. Gender non-conforming folks including lesbians who present more masculine could also be harassed or imprisoned, much like trans folks could. But whereas cisgender queers may go to prisons they feel match their gender identity, many trans folks don’t or can’t.

Trans folks are also much more likely to be sexually assaulted and harassed in the bathrooms they don’t identify with, much like when they get put in the wrong prison. Often the disreputable claim is made that transgender individuals encourage predators.  I am not, nor is any other trans person I’ve met, interested in predatory behavior. It is a ridiculous claim.

Studies prove much the same for example the Rape Abuse and Incest Network, found that most sexual assailants are people you know, not strangers who go into bathrooms. AndMedia Matters did several studies and had discussions with dozens of experts on the matter and found no correlation between allowing transgender individuals into bathrooms and increases in sexual assault.

Not only does this intrusive bill fail to prevent sexual assault from happening, it encouragesharassment and sexual assault of trans folks in bathrooms.

This vilification and criminalization of trans folks can also cause them them to be at an increased risk of suicide.

The Guardian reports that “not allowing trans youth to use a bathroom only perpetuates feelings of isolation or depression that lead 41% of transgender people to attempt kill themselves at some point in their lives, compared to the 4.6% in the general population.”

Hopefully the North Carolina state legislature knows how to sleep well.

Because that blood is on their hands.


Street Knowledge with Chris Graham: Libertarian gubernatorial nominee Cliff Hyra

Chris Graham interviews Libertarian gubernatorial nominee Cliff Hyra.

Another new poll gives Northam big lead in Virginia governor race

One Virginia governor race poll released yesterday had Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie tied.

Poll: Trump unpopular in Virginia

President Donald Trump is well under water among Virginia voters, according to new poll results released by the University of Mary Washington.

The Petty Hearts bring Tom Petty tribute to Wayne Theatre on Sept. 22

Tom Petty tribute band The Petty Hearts are coming to the Wayne Theatre on Friday, Sept. 22.

Virginia Chili, Blues n' Brews Festival set for Saturday

The Virginia Chili, Blues n' Brews Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Saturday in Downtown Waynesboro.

Events Calendar

Upcoming events in the Shenandoah Valley, Central Virginia and statewide from the Augusta Free Press Events Calendar. Don't see your event listed? Email augustafreepress2@gmail.com.

UVA alum Chris Long to donate first six NFL game checks to fund scholarships

The Chris Long Foundation announced today that Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long will donate his first six game checks of the 2017 NFL season to fund two scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville.

Game Preview: VMI, Chattanooga look to get back on track on Saturday

VMI knew the 2017 football season was going to be a rebuilding year. Chattanooga, coming off a playoff appearance in 2016, had its usual high expectations.

Game Preview: UVA has a chance at Boise State

Vegas and the ESPN Power Index don’t give UVA much of a chance to win at Boise State on Friday night.

Street Knowledge with Chris Graham: First look at UVA-Boise State

Chris Graham and Scott German take a first look at the UVA-Boise State game set for Friday night.

Web Design, Marketing

Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.

Recent Posts
Your One-Stop Media Shop
Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, magazine/brochure, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.
  • Web Design

    You want a new website, but don’t have the first clue as to how to build one. That’s our job. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design and content development. Get your business online for as little as $1,299.
    Learn more about AFP Web Design services.
  • Graphic Design

    The staff at Augusta Free Press Publishing has been recognized by the Virginia Press Association for excellence in layout and design. Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.
    Learn more about AFP Graphic Design services.
  • Marketing

    Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.
    Learn more about AFP Marketing services.