Tucker Carlson thinks gender-neutral bathrooms are “disgusting.” This week, the Fox News host took aim at the all-gender facilities unveiled at the Democratic National Convention, held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The DNC installed two such restrooms at the venue, which holds 21,000 at capacity. That’s not much.
Carlson, who has referred to affirming bathroom access for trans people as “frivolous,” claimed that the facilities are just one of the many “bizarre” features of the DNC.
“I mean, I guess we're liberated by this?” Carlson asked his co-hosts on Fox & Friends. “Everyone should come visit one and see the reality of it. It's unbelievable. … I mean the whole thing was like an alternate reality.”
The pundit wasn’t the only pundit hot and bothered by transgender inclusion.
Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee claimed that the addition of all-gender bathrooms to the event showed that Democrats had lost touch with the concerns of the average American. “With so many distractions, it’s nice to know the DNC kept their focus on what’s truly important,” the one-time Arkansas governor tweeted.
Jason Rantz, a conservative radio show host who broadcasts out of Seattle, argued that the restrooms are nothing but a publicity stunt.
“All of the other bathrooms in the arena appear to be more traditional, split by the sexes,” Rantz wrote at MyNorthwest. “Is it a coincidence that the all-gender restroom is right by the press booth?” He also pointed out that the bathrooms were not a permanent addition to the arena, instead “just a women’s bathroom with the new sign on it.”
Hot Air deemed it the “great transgender coverup,” as well as an affront to female attendees.
“Every lady I speak to who bothers to comment on the subject always complains that the lines at public bathrooms in big venues are always terribly long for the ladies while the guys skate right through,” writes the right-wing news site. “Why would you divert even more traffic to the ladies room? That just seems rather War On Womenish, doesn’t it?”
Matthew Vadum offered perhaps the strongest condemnation of the facilities, referring to them as “rape rooms” and “everything-goes facilities.”
In the Canada Free Press, Vadum claims that these bathrooms permit “big, strong men… to relieve themselves alongside little girls and women” and give rapists a “standing invitation to those seeking to commit sexual assaults.”
“They paint a target on those who cannot defend themselves,” he concludes.
The truth is, however, that transgender people pose no danger to other DNC attendees. In the more than 200 localities that allow trans folks to use the bathroom that most closely corresponds with their gender identity, there’s never been a single verified case of a transgender person assaulting someone else in a public restroom.
Malcolm Lazin, founder of Equality Forum, told KTVU, San Francisco’s Fox affiliate, that he understands why people might be nervous using an all-gender bathroom for the first time, but those visiting the DNC have little to worry about.
“I think the first time one does anything, there’s an apprehension,” he said. “I think the second time they go in that gender neutral bathroom there won’t be any issue for them whatsoever.”
Dominic Holden, a reporter at BuzzFeed, tweeted a photo from inside the all-gender bathroom, saying that there was little commotion. “This bathroom at DNC is being used by men and women,” Holden wrote. “It's busy in there. Nobody seems phased.”
Several far-right outlets also filmed people entering and exiting the convention’s all-gender restroom, Media Matters reports, outright admitting that reporters were looking for “obviously transgender people.” Unfortunately for those hoping to find the mythical “trans bathroom predator,” several outlets were forced to report that “no transgender individuals were spotted using the restroom.”