Transgender people have become more visible in society, from Virginia electing the first transgender legislator to Playboy announcing the first transgender Playmate. But despite these encouraging signs of progress, there remain many who don't understand transgender issues. Due to their ignorance, they bully, mock and discriminate, which sucks. All transgender people want to do is live peacefully as the gender they've identified with since the day they were born.
At a Denny's in Los Angeles, Republican Congressional candidate Jazmina Saavedra broadcast a video on Facebook Live. In the seven minute video, Saavedra, who's wearing a Trump sweatshirt, expresses her outrage that a transgender woman is using the women's bathroom. After mounting the camera on a selfie stick, she bursts into the lavatory, shouting, "Why [are] you using the ladies' room? You're invading my privacy!"
That's right, a lady burst into the women's bathroom at Denny's, recording a live video, telling somebody using the toilet that they were invading her privacy. Is there any better definition of irony?
When Saavedra enters the bathroom, there's a man waiting outside the stall, who is described as the Denny's manager. From the stall, the trans woman shouts, “You're invading my privacy!" Saavedra responds, "You're invading my privacy because I'm a woman!" The argument goes back and forth and the manager tries to get Saavedra to leave the restroom. On her way out, she screams, “You violated my rights! You're sick. Stupid!"
Saavedra returns to her booth, but she's not done broadcasting yet. She continues to rant about the transgendered woman, rudely misgendering her as “he.” "That guy violated my right to use the ladies' room here," complains Saavedra. "He's saying he's a lady. Stupid guy. I'm going to wait for him to get out of the restroom."
At this point, the Republican Congressional candidate, who's running to represent south Los Angeles and the city's harbor district in the House of Representatives, sets up a stakeout. She points her camera at the women's bathroom, waiting to ambush the transgender woman when she comes out. "This is so stupid in California," narrates Saavedra to her Facebook Followers. "This is what the politicians, the sick politicians, approve. They put us in danger, a woman like me."
Moments later, the transgender woman emerges from the bathroom, and the manager escorts her out of the restaurant. The whole time, Saavedra follows and berates her, screaming "Next time use the men's room or no room at all!" Then Saavedra sits down, shows off her pepper spray, and claims the manager helped her with the situation. "I was looking for my stungun," she claims.
In an interview with The Advocate, Saavedra attempted to defend herself, while continuing to rudely misgender the transgender woman. "I was feeling afraid of being inside the bathroom with a man," said Saavedra. "I didn’t know he was gay [sic], I just heard the voice was a man. Another customer approached me and said that they were scared to go into the restroom because there was a voice of a man inside, and so I told the manager."
Many red states have attempted to pass "bathroom bills" which would ban transgender people from using the same bathroom as their gender identity. Critics call this legislation hateful and ridiculous. As The Advocate reports, "There has never been a case of a transgender person attacking or harassing anyone in a bathroom anywhere in the country. Instead, it's trans people who are subject to this kind of harassment."
It's not surprising Saavedra is a Trump supporter, considering the policies of the past two years. The Trump administration repealed landmark guidance that let transgender students in public schools use the bathroom of their choice - a signature initiative of President Obama. Also, the Trump administration has repeatedly attempted to ban transgender soldiers from the military. These are unfortunate setbacks, but hopefully progress can continue, so we can all pee in peace.