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Trans Folks Respond to 'Bathroom Bills' With #WeJustNeedtoPee Selfies

Trans Folks Respond to 'Bathroom Bills' With #WeJustNeedtoPee Selfies


A viral social media campaign reveals what trans people are really in the bathroom to do -- and it's not as scary as right-wing politicians suggest. 

While politicians in the U.S. and Canada continue to debate the so-called dangers of allowing transgender people to use the public or school restrooms that accord with their genders, trans people themselves have taken to social media to show they have only one agenda in the restroom: peeing.

Using #WeJustNeedToPee on social media -- a hashtag that is currently going viral -- trans women and men have been posting photos of themselves in the restrooms of the gender they were assigned at birth, at times adding signs to highlight how ill-fitting their presence is.

The selfie-protest trend started with Canadian trans woman Brae Carnes, who began February 26 posting a series of Facebook pictures of herself in front of men's urinals holding a sign stating, "Plett Put Me Here," in reference to conservative Senator Donald Plett's statement that the 2013 proposed addition of gender identity to the Canadian Human Rights Act "allows for pedophiles to take advantage of legislation we have in place." Gay Star News reports that the Conservative-led Senate finally approved the trans-inclusive addition last month, but then effectively killed it by introducing an amendment exempting "sex-specific" facilities, including public bathrooms, from protection.

Minnesota trans man Michael C. Hughes then followed in Carnes's path, adding words to a Twitter image that read, "Do I look like I belong in women's facilities? Republicans are trying to get legislation passed that will put me there, based on my gender at birth. Trans people aren't going to the bathroom to spy on you, or otherwise cause you harm. #wejustneedtopee."

Hughes and many others are protesting recent legislation that targets trans students in Minnesota, Kentucky, and Texas school restrooms and locker rooms, as well as recently proposed legislation in Florida and Texas that seeks to fine and jail anyone "caught" in a public facility that does not match their "biological" gender.

The proposed laws are based on arguments often decried by trans advocates as inflammatory and baseless, promoting the false claim that trans people, and especially trans women, are predatory or threaten the safety of others in public bathrooms. As many advocates have pointed out, it actually trans people who are more likely to be harassed or physically attacked in public facilities.

Take a look at how these trans folks are highlighting the absurdity of the laws conservative legislators are proposing in the tweets below:

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Mitch Kellaway