Transparent actors Alexandra Billings and Jeffrey Tambor are the latest stars to speak out against North Carolina's House Bill 2, the anti-LGBT law that forces transgender people to use public bathrooms and locker rooms that do not correspond with their gender identity. The law also rescinds all local nondiscrimination ordinances and bars residents from filing legal complaints about such discrimination.
In a video published on Monday by ET Canada, Billings and Tambor were asked to weigh in on the controversial anti-LGBT legislation. "First of all, let's stop calling it the 'Bathroom Bill,'" said Billings, because that alliterative nickname "makes it sound cute and friendly, and it's not."
"The problem is that religious conservatives — all Republicans — have categorically decided that what I am can be taken off, meaning, I am in a costume, or in a fetish, or a fad," said Billings. Although she did not mention specific lawmakers, it seems likely Billings was referring to conservative stalwarts like GOP presidential hopeful and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who are pushing the debunked claim that transgender people are really "predators" seeking to assault women and children in public restrooms.
The bill is "completely prejudice," said Billings, because "there has never been, not one, ever, in the history of crime, a transgender person who has commmitted a crime against anyone in the bathroom."
The Transparent star is correct. While more than 200 localities nationwide have trans-inclusive laws on the books, there has never been a single verified report of a transgender person assaulting a cisgender (nontrans) person in a restroom, nor have there been any instances of someone “pretending” to be transgender to gain access to sex-segregated spaces for nefarious purposes. By contrast, however, transgender people face a much higher risk of being the victims of physical and verbal assault in sex-segregated spaces, compared to their cisgender peers.
HB 2 is "founded on intution, and not facts," said Billings, because "the reason for the law is nonexistant." Her comments echo remarks she made to The Advocate on the red carpet of the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles last month.
As a straight, cisgender ally who plays a trans woman on Amazon's critically acclaimed series, Tambor says he took to social media to warn people about HB 2. Shortly after the bill passed the state legislature and was signed by the governor in the span of 24 hours on March 23, Tambor took to Twitter:
— Jeffrey Tambor (@jeffreytambor) April 3, 2016
"Fear is a terrible thing," said Tambor in the new video. "It makes them jump on one thing to typify a whole movement."
Watch the clip of Tambor and Billings below.