Ahh, Virginia, where coal miner values—similar to those “traditional” values politicians love to lament whenever a minority group demands fair treatment—are just as detrimental to the safety of non-binary people as any drunken, open-carrier in an F-150 could ever be. Alas, in today’s news a Virginia subcommittee decided to pass really creepy legislation (because let's face it, this is about kids’ genitals) regulating bathrooms in public schools. The bill calls for every “public building on property that is owned, leased, or controlled by the Commonwealth and every public school restroom, locker room, and shower room that is designated for use by a specific gender [to be used by those whose] anatomical sex matches such gender designation.”
In house, to fight both for and against the bill were The Traditional Values Coalition—an SPLC-listed hate group—the ALCU, transgender residents and students from a Virginia school district. The bill, numbered in the docket as HB 781, was introduced by Del. Mark Cole of Fredericksburg after “concerned” parents approached him about other childrens’ no-no parts. Citing privacy concerns, Cole presented the bill before a House Subcommittee. Local transgender residents attempted appeals to humanity to stop the bill from making it to a formal house vote.
Unfortunately, their arguments just weren’t riveting enough for Virginia politicians; committee members were probably more concerned with what their trans constituents looked like naked throughout the entirety of their oral arguments as opposed to—you know—listening and empathizing.
High-school student Andrew Wilson was one of them. Standing in defense of their own body and what lies beneath the clothes they wear and under the pressure of an adamantly bigoted legislative body, Wilson remained eloquent, “House bill 781 and House Bill 663 would penalize [and] fine me for using the correct bathroom,” they* said, “These bills would also separate me from the rest of my teammates which is downright humiliating. It’s discriminatory and I wish you would see the negative [impact] this has on transgender people like myself, and others across the Commonwealth.” Note, there is not just one transgender bathroom bill on the Virginia legislature’s docket, as Wilson mentions HB 663 which seeks to regulate bathroom usage in all government owned buildings by imposing a fine of $50—the same amount students would be fined should they not put their own safety before the comfort of other, more ignorant citizens.
The formal vote is due to begin later this week. See Gayrva for the original report.
*We have no clarification regarding how Wilson identifies.
Zaida J. is currently a Features Editor here at WUSSY and a self-described transgender loud mouth.