"We really want to be sure that actual trans people are there so that when [our opponents are] making the argument that being trans is a delusion, or that trans people don't actually exist, they're going to have to say that to the face of an actual trans person over and over again," he continued. "Maybe they're fine with that, but at the end of the day, it is going to make their arguments a lot harder if they're looking at our trans clients, or looking at trans people in the courtroom or a trans lawyer. We need to be in those spaces to make the arguments they're trying to advance less palatable."In the past year, 19 states have considered legislation that would prevent trans people from using restroom facilities that correspond with their gender identity; Chase has fought tirelessly and effectively against these so-called "bathroom bills." The ACLU and agencies across the country have successfully opposed these laws, with one notable exception: House Bill 2 (HB2) in North Carolina.
While politicians may enforce their intolerance through the law, others enforce it through violence and overt discrimination. For example, in May, a transgender woman was assaulted by a security guard because she used a woman's restroom, and, as reported by the Advocate, some conservatives have threatened to assault transgender people who try to use public restrooms, some saying they'll bring a gun with them to keep their children safe from trans people.In addition to the devastating effect that such legislation has on transgender people, it also subjects anyone who fails to conform to outdated gender norms to discrimination. In 2013, for instance, a cis woman in Miami was jailed with men and subjected to photographic examination of her genitalia because law enforcement officers believed she was trans. In June of 2015, a cis woman was thrown from a women's restroom because someone believed she was a trans woman.This has permeated legislations across the United States, unleashing a torrent of panic-driven and hostile bills. Conservative politicians across the country now see nothing objectionable about publicly arguing that trans people present a risk to their children, or that they should not receive equal rights or health care. "Right now, in state governments, you have many of them arguing that providing healthcare to trans people is unlawful and infringes the rights of others, that sharing a restroom with trans people infringes on the rights of others," Chase said. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently filed a brief against the US Government, arguing that doctors should be legally allowed to deny crucial healthcare to transgender people. Paxton is also leading a legal fight against the US government for trying to make schools stop discriminating against transgender kids.
The rhetoric around trans bodies and trans people has been horrible.