With all of the hysteria surrounding bathroom bills, it was only a matter of time until citizens started taking the matter into their own hands.
On Thursday, Jessica Rush was at the Baylor Medical Center to get her two broken fingers examined. While she was waiting to be seen, she decided to use the restroom. As reported by the Dallas Observer, this commonplace decision turned into a dramatic encounter when a man in the waiting room followed her to bathroom, believing she was a man.
Rush, a woman who identifies as a woman, was, in fact, headed to the women’s restroom. But because she has short hair and was dressed androgynously, the man felt that he must intervene. Rush captured the incident on camera.
“When I saw you enter I thought you was…” the man says.
“A boy?” Rush offers.
“Yeah, it was kind of confusing,” he said. “You dress like a man.”
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The man was not apologetic for the encounter, and later explained that he was concerned for his mother.
“The point is I was helping my mom. I was confused when I see someone entering the woman’s bathroom looking like a man,” he said. “Each one of us is man or woman so … I wanted to make sure she was going to the right place.”
Rush told the Observer that this isn’t the first time her gender identity has been publicly questioned in the women’s bathroom, and noted that it can be alarming when a man twice her size confronts her in such a hostile manner.
The obsession over gender identity and bathroom use has reached a fever pitch with the passing of HB2 in North Carolina, a law that requires transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate, not their gender identity. Proponents of the bill and others like it have been spreading false propaganda about trandsgender women in particular, alleging that they are predators who want access to the women’s bathroom so they can sexually assault other women.
Of course, this is not true, but the fear mongering has been effective. In Kansas, a bill was proposed that would pay students $2,500 if they discovered they were using the bathroom with a transgender person. Last week, a video surfaced of police forcibly removing a woman from the restroom because they didn’t believe that she was a woman.