Target: Florida State Representative Frank Artiles
Goal: Don’t prosecute transgender people for using facilities that conform to their gender identity.
Transgender people in Florida could be forced to use public bathrooms, fitting rooms, locker rooms, and showers of the sex they were assigned at birth instead of the ones that conform to their actual genders if legislation proposed by State Representative Frank Artiles is passed. Trans people caught violating this law would be vulnerable to prosecution and lawsuits. Demand that Artiles abandon this hateful legislation at once.
Representative Artiles says his House Bill 583, called “Single-Sex Public Facilities,” is designed to close “loopholes” in existing local ordinances prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity that allow “criminals, sexual deviants and sexual predators to walk into a shower, [or] a woman’s locker room under the cover of law.” It would do this by defining gender by biological sex and limiting people to using public bathrooms, fitting rooms, locker rooms, and showers that match the sex they were assigned at birth.
Artiles is choosing to ignore the fact that laws prohibiting sexual harassment and sexual assault already exist, and is using that narrative as a basis to fearmonger over, discriminates against, and perpetuate harmful transphobic stereotypes about transgender people. Implicit in his legislation is the idea that transgender individuals are, at the core, sexually-deviant predators, instead of people sincerely trying to be themselves in a society that oppresses them.
This bill is regressive and discriminates against a community that needs more protections and acceptance, not less. Sign the petition below to demand that Representative Artiles rescind his bigoted proposal from consideration so that it doesn’t have the chance to become law.
Dear Representative Artiles,
I am writing you today regarding House Bill 583, the bill you introduced to, you say, “protect [people], especially females, from criminals.” This bill throws the actual lives of trans men and women under the bus for the sake of some hypothetical scare-tactic scenario that laws already exist to address.
Sexual assault and sexual harassment, the things that you are presumably concerned about curbing through this legislation, are already illegal. Letting transgender people use bathrooms that conform to their expressed gender does not change that. The fact that you are concerned that it does, though, does betray your profoundly bigoted views about transgender and other nonbinary people. Transgender women are not men who are disguising themselves so that they can predate on “real” women, and to suggest that they are is extremely offensive.
Gender is not some biological hard and fast reality—sex assigned at birth has no necessary bearing on how one identifies or expresses their gender over the course of one’s life. Your legislation denies that fact outright in favor of a reductive and outdated view that conflates gender and sex organs, which erases the struggle trans people face in reconciling their identities in a transphobic society and lends itself to the transphobic idea that they are perverts trying to get closer to cisgendered men or women to satisfy sexual urges.
Your proposal is a thinly-veiled attack on transgender people and does not deserve to be seriously discussed. I demand that you rescind it from consideration so that it never becomes law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: AnonMoos via Wikimedia Commons