From CBC News:
A transgendered New Brunswick student says (s)he was struck in the face at St. Thomas University in Fredericton because (s)he entered a women's washroom.
(S)he said a female student in the washroom asked her(him) to leave, and Rayner attempted to explain that (s)he's biologically female.
"She got irate and took a swing at me, called me several names that were very derogatory, and she just caught me in the lip," Rayner said. "So, I staggered out, I apologized for the incident, and I left.
And in Texas, from FOX 26 News:
Tyjanae Moore is the transgendered woman who was cited and thrown behind bars by a Houston police officer because she was caught using the ladies restroom. "I felt so belittled going to a jail over something so simple and stupid," says Moore.
A 26-year-old native of Minnesota, Moore moved to Houston to be closer to family, but after a year in Texas, she is ready to move back.
Moore was arrested Nov. 17 at the Houston Public Library in downtown. The offense? Police say despite being a transgendered female, she is still officially a man -- a man who was caught using the ladies' restroom.
"When I came out, the female told me I wasn't supposed to be and I asked if there was any particular reason why not. She said I'm a transgendered female and I was really shocked that they even stopped me for this," says Moore.
Even though she is seen as a protected class by the City of Houston, Moore entered a guilty plea.
Regardless of the direction of transition, and regardless of any legal protections... we face assault, arrest, or both, no matter what restroom we use. And all the time, religious groups mount blatant scare campaigns, projecting us as the transgressors against all that is Good and Holy, and labelling us as freaks, perverts, degenerates and sexual predators.
Of course, if we "pass" sufficiently well - or sufficiently poorly, when using the restroom of our assigned sex, we're relatively safe from these Xenophobes. It's not about any actual danger - for there is none. It's all about appearances.
It's about how our appearance, or even our existence, makes others uncomfortable - and thus granting them them the God-given right to persecute us.
I've never had a problem, though I have no illusions about my un-beautiful appearance. I have "passing privilege", the ability to appear unremarkable, no matter how outrageously freakish my biology is, far more unusual than either the trans man or the trans woman in those two stories.
I make no apology for this. But I do think it gives me a certain responsibility, whether you call it Karmic Balance or just sheer outrage at injustice, to do whatever I can for others not so privileged while living my own life, bringing up my boy, doing my PhD, going to International conferences...
And knowing that I could be next. The next to be arrested (for after all, my UK birth certificate still says "boy" so in Texas I may indeed be "legally male"). Or assaulted, by someone who recognises me from TV appearances. Or murdered, though the only person who I've been advised by medical professionals is a definite threat is on another continent. Privilege has its limits though, and if Ms Moore, who looks heaps better than I ever could, can be arrested, then I'm not safe either.
C.L.Minou puts it better than I ever could, over at Feministe.
The fact of the matter is that at any moment, I could be at risk simply for being trans. Simply for being me. This is something all marginalized people face–certainly, it’s something every woman in the world understands. But just as it’s possible for the shielded women of the world to sniff at the poor and unprotected and blame them for their own misfortunes, so its possible for the lucky trans people of the world–the professors with tenure, the software engineers with rare abilities, the fortunate few who have managed to avoid most of the ways society turns people into others, to disclaim connection with the rest of the trans world. Rape happens only to people who live in slums, and transphobic murder only to prostitutes turning tricks for street ‘mones.Being one of the "fortunate few", the risk is less. But I treat "less risk" as "no risk" at my peril.
Except when it doesn’t.
So I will Remember today. I will remember because that body lying somewhere unmourned could be me. Because it is me. I mourn because remembering makes me angry, energizes me to fight again. I mourn because we don’t have all that much to celebrate today, not really, not when even the most elemental of basic protections elude the vast majority of trans people the world round. I won’t shrug or carp about how there’s so much death brought up today. Because there is a lot of death. And that needs to be remembered, to be brought up, to be shoved in the face of those who are indifferent to it until something changes, really changes, and trans people are allowed to join the human race.
I think all women have insecurities about their appearance. Mine though has real reasons for it; if I look too odd, too different... it could kill me. So while I mustn't over-dramatise, yes, the threat is real for me too. Only the degree differs, and possibly by less than I'd like to believe.
What an Insane situation. And somehow, I think that explaining "well, I'm actually not Trans, I have a rare Intersex condition you see..." might not do a lot of good. Just a hunch, mind you.