People Are Responding to Transphobia in NC With These Powerful Photos

March 28th 2016

Transgender people across the country are rallying against Republican lawmakers in North Carolina, who last week passed controversial legislation barring trans people from using restrooms according to their gender identity.

In the days after the passage of House Bill 2, many people are posting powerful photos attempting to show the real impact of the new law.

In one post that has thousands of "likes" and shares over the weekend, Alexandra Billings, a theater arts professor at California State University, Long Beach shared a photo of herself in a men's restroom, where, under the new North Carolina bill, she would be required to go.

"Bathroom bills" hurt trans people more than those they seek to protect.

Billings wrote in the post how the legislation, which removes protections for trans people to use bathrooms according to their gender identity, not their biological sex, places trans individuals in greater danger than those the so-called "bathrooms bills" are meant to protect in the first place:

"So now I send in my Trans brothers and sisters who are in their teens, or in their twenties, ahead of me into the deepest parts of their own shame and sorrow. So now I give birth to the idea that we are to be victimized, raped, attacked, ridiculed, bullied, and marked. So now, I am the one having to face a fear that has haunted me for 53 years."

"Who, exactly, is the one in danger?" Billings added.

The bill was meant to address an assault on common sense, according to a Tweet by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.

The sentiment was shared by many others as the bill moved through the North Carolina legislature, as well as after its passage.

Some used the hashtag, #WeJustNeedToPee to illustrate that transgender people, like most other people, do not have ulterior motives in using bathrooms according to their identity.

Last week, ATTN: spoke with James Sheffield, a trans man who posted a picture of himself — "my favorite grumpy hillbilly picture" — pointing out that he would have to share a bathroom with Gov. Pat McCrory's wife under the North Carolina legislation.

"It's unsettling to think about how far back this set North Carolina in their efforts toward equality for their LGBTQ citizens," Sheffield told ATTN:.

Since its passage, the legislation has faced significant pushback, and on Monday, three people — two trans men and a lesbian — and two LGBT advocacy groups — the ACLU of North Carolina and Equality North Carolina — filed suit in federal court challenging the law, BuzzFeed reports.

"By singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, H.B. 2 violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment and the U.S. Constitution,” the lawsuit argues.

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