Today I was going to post about something else, but that will have to wait until Tuesday. The reason for that is because when I woke up this morning and checked my Facebook, I had this lovely photo in my feed. Doing some looking into the details, it’s really pretty worrying.
Now, as we trans people gain more and more visibility, there is more backlash against us, as I mentioned back on TDoR. This means that yes, there have been a number of these “bathroom bills” in the past. One of the more infamous ones in the recent past was last year in Tennessee, which was a fine backed up with bigotry by the house. And that wasn’t even the first time we’ve had trans restroom use make national news, as we saw in Colorado the year before. Some of these laws have actually been passed, or have laws in effect that do the same basic thing, as we saw last year with a fellow trans woman veteran here in the Dallas region.
So why is this Arizona bill so worrying? For a couple of reasons. The existing laws and the ones that have been put forth in the past are just fines, and usually relatively small ones, such as the $50 one from Tennessee last year. This one has a fine as well, for up to $2500. It also allows for up to 6 months in jail, according to All Out. That makes things a great deal more problematic.
Second, Arizona is actually crazy enough to pass this bill. Now, I know that the one in Tennessee never saw the vote and died in that regard, and we can hope the same happens in Arizona (as the vote was delayed on Wednesday thanks to trans protestors and is now in revision due to “paperwork errors.” However, if it does come back up, yes, this is something to worry about. Remember me mentioning back in November how Arizona passed a law that basically puts women in perpetual pregnancy? Yeah. They passed that. It’s law now. They might actually have enough conservative backers for this one too, meaning Arizona will become a very inhospitable place not only for the trans folk who live there, but also for their cis but gender non-forming counterparts in the gay and lesbian community. This also affects such people traveling into or through Arizona.
So what can we do? If you’re in Arizona and able to, join the rest of your gender-variant and ally peers in lobbying directly. For the rest of us, there are petitions that can be signed, or we can write blogs such as this. We need to make our voices heard, and let people everywhere, not just in Arizona, know that all we really want is to pee in peace. Maybe then we can finally see an end to these laws. I doubt it, but we can fight this one here and now, and be prepared for when the next one comes up.