Tag Archives: Arizona anti-transsexual law

Keeping up with Our Small Surreal World

it's a small world ride signMy older sister Kathy has always loved the “It’s a Small World After All” ride at Disney World. Every time we’ve gone to the theme park she gets giddy while she’s standing in line for the ride, gesticulating with gusto, talking in between squealing giggles like she’s transported her emotional self back to age 11. When we’re locked into our slow-moving seats the waterworks starts for her, somewhere between the smiling children from Holland and the colorful children from Africa. For me the ride is three notches above the moldy animatronics of Chuck E. Cheese, but for Kathy, it’s a gateway to our connectedness on Planet Earth. Every. Single. Time. For one quadriplegic rider at DisneyLand, however, getting stuck on the ride for eight hours was enough to sue the company. I don’t think even my dear Kathy would want to be subjected to the ear worm for eight hours straight. Everyone else got off of the broken ride, but Disney had no evacuation procedures in place for individuals with mobility issues. And whoever thought that sending Mickey and Minnie Mouse over to him to perform while he was stuck has lost their sense of perspective.

I find life like a broken, singing roller coaster a lot of the time, these days anyway. Is my family in town this week? Are we hosting a guest? Do I have a deadline to meet? Has the baby discovered a new activity that could destroy our house? Is the car still working? Fortunately for us there’s not a single simple tune playing in the background through all of this, nor a series of wooden Stepfordesque children smiling an endless smile in our general direction. Read More…

Illegal Urination

Arizona, the state that brought us a ban on Ethnic Studies and some of the most extreme anti-immigrant laws in the nation, now has crafted a bill that would make using the “wrong” restroom–read, one that does not comport with the letter on one’s birth certificate–a misdemeanor, punishable by a multi-thousand dollar fine and up to six months in jail. The language in the bill reads almost opposite as the non-discriminatory language found in jursidictions around the country that protect trans-identified and gender nonconforming people from harassment when accessing public facilities:

All entities covered under the Act, as amended, shall allow individuals the right to use gender-specific restrooms and other gender-specific facilities such as dressing rooms, homeless shelters, and group homes that are consistent with their gender identity or expression (Washington, DC Office of Human Rights, District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR) entitled “Compliance Rules and Regulations Regarding Gender Identity or Expression.” Title 4, Chapter 8, amended October 26, 2006)

Instead, Arizona’s proposed language requires people to use the bathroom that comports with the sex marker on their birth certificate. This is troubling for many reasons, including in no particular order:

  1. Arizona has no legislative control over other states’ departments of vital statistics, the organizations that generally are in charge of granting and validating birth and death certificates. Some states, like New Jersey, grant new birth certificates with a letter of sex-reassignment surgery, while others only amend previously created birth certificates. It’s unclear if this proposed law would “accept” such amendments over the original certificate. And then some states, like Ohio, never amend or re-release birth certificates for any reason. So any trans individual from Ohio needing to urinate in Arizona should what, cross the state line first? Ask a kind neighbor for use of their private bathroom? Read More…
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