A few weeks ago, we heard the story about a Texas medical center bathroom and demanded to know her gender after assuming her short hair meant she was trans, and now that hysteria has spread to a Walmart in Connecticut.
In a Danbury Walmart, a woman was washing her hands in the women’s restroom when another customer came up to her and accused her of being “disgusting” and in the wrong gendered bathroom. In a Facebook post, Aimee Toms documents the horrifying ordeal and said that it was only moments later that she realized that this screaming, crazed woman had assumed her short hair meant she was a trans person.
As if the story doesn’t have enough deplorable factors, Toms’ short hair wasn’t just a fashion consideration. She had recently chopped off her long hair to donate it to an organization that makes wigs for children with cancer. Thanks to a new push by Republicans and a completely fabricated issue, women are being told – in this case explicitly – that cutting their hair, whether for personal reasons or for charity, puts them in the crosshairs for vengeful bigots who are desperately trying to seek out trans people to bully.
Toms surmised that this wave of hysteria stems from the so-called “bathroom bill” in North Carolina and the subsequent passage of copycat bills in other states.
I think this is all just a response. No one was telling these people to be scared of transgender people before. No one was telling them that they should be throwing people out of bathrooms. As if it wasn’t scary enough for transgender people to use the bathroom before.
Ironically, the only examples of bathroom harassment and assaults have come from people with strong anti-LGBT views. There has still yet to be one confirmed case of a person pretending to be trans in order to assault women in a public bathroom, but there is a growing list of examples of how this vitriolic anti-trans movement has caused bullying and victimization of trans people themselves. And in cases like Toms, even women who don’t confirm to conventional gender norms have faced similar levels of discrimination.
The Republican Party is currently openly supporting these witch hunts. In Texas, for example, the state government under Gov. Greg Abbott and his deeply homophobic righthand man, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, have gone off the deep end. After President Obama made history by standing with the trans community in the face of this renewed discrimination, they suggested they would financially secede from the United States if it meant not having to tolerate trans people in bathrooms. Ted Cruz, also from Texas, lost the race to the White House, but his campaign is still reportedly working behind the scenes to get anti-trans language officially added to the Republican Party platform.
The effect of all of this political hate-mongering is deeply troubling. As Toms aptly put it, “People hate what they don’t understand and they hate what they don’t know. And it creates a cycle of disgusting bigotry that reflects back on our nation and makes us look ridiculous.”
Watch Toms’ Facebook post below:
Featured image via Facebook