Trans selfies: Power to the global villagers!

"Lets put an end to this ridiculous, hateful, and hypocrytical amendment by the conservatives. #plettputmehere", says Brae Carnes in the caption to this photo on her Facebook page. The "Plett" on her sign refers to CVonservative Senator Don Plett, who introduced an amendment to a gender identity/trans ri9ghts bill -- that had been passed by the House of Commons -- that would force trans people to use washrooms according to their birth sex as opposed to their gender presentation and identity. In other words, trans women would be forvced to use the men's room, and trabs men would be forced to use the ladies' room. (Photo: Brae Carnes/Facebook)
“Lets put an end to this ridiculous, hateful, and hypocrytical amendment by the conservatives. #plettputmehere”, says Brae Carnes in the caption to this photo on her Facebook page. The “Plett” on her sign refers to Conservative Senator Don Plett, who introduced an amendment to a gender identity/trans rights bill — that had been passed by the House of Commons — that would force trans people to use washrooms according to their birth sex as opposed to their gender presentation and identity. In other words, trans women would be forced to use the men’s room, and trans men would be forced to use the ladies’ room. (Photo: Brae Carnes/Facebook)

The reach — and power — of social media is amazing these days. No wonder traditional media outlets seem to be caught in a time warp. Even hip alternative publications are having a hard time keeping up with the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Still, though, traditional media outlets can use social media quite effectively.

Case in point: In my Gazette blog for the past week or so, I’ve been covering the “bathroom issue” faced by transgender people in Canada and four U.S. states. To recap, here is the lede from my most recent post there:

Is the message starting to sink in to the general population? If not, here’s a recap: Women in Canada and parts of the United States — Kentucky, Florida, Minnesota, Texas — better get used to having some trans men in their public washrooms and dressing rooms, thanks to hysterical, and what many are calling transphobic, legislation proposals put forth by a few Conservative Canadian senators and conservative American politicians. And men in those places better get used to having trans women in their public facilities.

This is happening because of legislation politicians are trying to push through that essentially discriminates against transgender people.

In Canada, a young lady by the name of Brae Carnes decided to take a selfie of herself in a men’s washroom, standing in front of the mirror putting on her lipstick, with the men’s urinals showing in the background. The Victoria Times Colonist — where one of my best friends works — took a picture and put it on their front print page, as well as online.

Victoria Times Colonist front page story.
Victoria Times Colonist front page story.

I caught wind of it, and did a post predicting that a new “bathroom” protest movement had been born, and tweeted the link out on my personal Twitter feed as well as on my Facebook page. That post went viral. I did followup posts, including one showing a trans man in the women’s washroom in Minnesota. That post has gone more viral, bringing in almost 30,000 page views in 16 hours — and still climbing at the rate of 100 hits per minute as I write this.

Michael C. Hughes of Rochester, Minnesota, posted this picture on his Facebook page, with the following caption: Florida's #hb583 and Minnesota's #sf1543 will make guys like me use women's facilities. This is what that will look like. Trans people aren't trying to access bathrooms to creep on people in there, #wejustneedtopee — with Katie Cowden and Brae Carnes. (Photo: Michael C. Hughes / Facebook)
Michael C. Hughes of Rochester, Minnesota, posted this picture on his Facebook page, with the following caption: Florida’s #hb583 and Minnesota’s #sf1543 will make guys like me use women’s facilities. This is what that will look like. Trans people aren’t trying to access bathrooms to creep on people in there, #wejustneedtopee — with Katie Cowden and Brae Carnes. (Photo: Michael C. Hughes / Facebook)

Not one of my posts were tweeted out on the Gazette’s media account. In other words, it received limited publicity — only on my personal accounts and, most important of all, on the google news wire.

And, as I predicted (one did not need a crystal ball for this one), the trans bathroom selfies movement has gone global, no doubt coming to a newspaper near you. The media are having a ball with it, trans people are having a ball with it . . . and a good time is being had by all, except for the politicians who are being made to look like fools. In their zeal to discriminate against trans women under the pretext of protecting women in washrooms from sexual predators who might dress up as women and pretend to be trans, they forgot about trans males who would be forced to use the women’s facilities — and that it would actually make it easier for sexual predators who now won’t have to even dress up as women: they can just pretend to be trans males.

Kinda reminds you of Arlo’s Alice’s Restaurant Massacre, doesn’t it?

So, it started with one young lady — Brae Carnes — in Victoria, B.C., got picked up by one newspaper there, and blogged about by one journalist (me) in Quebec, and spread like a prairie wildfire.

Social media is bringing power to the global villagers!

— Jillian

Buck Angel: This is what women could see in women’s public washrooms and dressing rooms if legislation in Canada and four U.S. states forces trans men to use women’s facilities. (Photo: Buck Angel/Eli Schmidt / Buck Angel Entertainment)
Buck Angel: This is what women could see in women’s public washrooms and dressing rooms if legislation in Canada and four U.S. states forces trans men to use women’s facilities.
(Photo: Buck Angel/Eli Schmidt / Buck Angel Entertainment)

2 thoughts on “Trans selfies: Power to the global villagers!

  1. A MUCH better solution would be to provide a “family” or “gender-neutral” restroom in all public places, but there are very few places that do. Getting that universally-accepted will be difficult, because it will require many public spaces to retro-fit their space with a third restroom. I have seen them in several malls, and newer WalMart and Lowes stores in my area (central Florida) have them. I haven’t seen any “family” restrooms in any of the restaurants I have been in, even though it would seem natural to have them in “family-restaurants”. The other option is to make ALL restrooms unisex, which would go over like a lead-balloon.

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