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New York City Launches Nation's First Pro-Trans Bathroom Rights Ads

New York City Launches Nation's First Pro-Trans Bathroom Rights Ads

Pro-Trans Restroom Rights Ads in NYC

New York City stands up for transgender rights with huge ad campaign on buses and in newspapers.

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New York City has launched the first municipal ad campaign affirming the right of transgender people to use whichever bathroom feels best for them, Mayor Bill de Blasio's office announced Monday.

The ads feature transgender New Yorkers Alisha King and Charles Solidum, with text reading "Look past pink and blue, use the restroom consistent with who you are." The campaign was launched in response to increasing nationwide controversy over whether transgender people should be allowed to use restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

At least 32 states have considered legislation that would deny rights to transgender people, while 11 states are suing the U.S. Department of Justice for recommending that schools treat transgender students equally. North Carolina went so far as to pass a law preventing transgender people from using public facilities that correspond with their gender identity, if those facilities are located in government buildings.

In New York City, gender identity protection has been written into local human rights law since 2002. In March, de Blasio issued an executive order requiring city agencies to provide restroom access "without being required to show identification, medical documentation or any other form of proof or verification of gender," according to the mayor's office.

City officials say the ads, which will appear in English and Spanish in subway cars and at bus stops, are just part of New York's commitment to promoting transgender equality. "No one deserves to be denied access to bathrooms or discriminated against for being who they are. Every New Yorker has the legal right to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity, no questions asked -- and these powerful ads affirm this right," de Blasio said in a press statement.

Pro-Trans Restroom Rights Ads in NYC

In addition to appearing in high-traffic locations, the ads will also be placed in local Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Russian, and Bengali newspapers, ensuring they reach many New Yorkers.

King, who appears in the ads, said she hopes people understand that transgender people just need to use the bathroom like anyone else. "I sincerely hope these ads help people understand that transgender people are just people. We just want to use the restroom safely and be treated with respect," she said in a press statement.

Solidum, who also appears in the ads, said in a press statement that he felt fortunate to live in New York City, "given national rhetoric threatening transgender people's access to public spaces." He added, "Harassment and discrimination of trans people in bathrooms happen every day, especially for trans women and gender-nonconforming folks. These ads help to ensure trans New Yorkers know that the city stands with us and supports our access to the same rights and opportunities as everyone else."

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