By James Finn | DETROIT – “I would like to pee in private! With my women! a woman shouts at a person she followed into the restroom at the Rampart Casino in Summerlin, Nevada. The person she is harassing through a closed door is an adult cisgender woman who says she stopped at Rampart because of severe cramps that started while she was in the car with her boyfriend.
As she rushed to find a toilet, the woman spotted her and ‘harassed’ her, later admitting she believed she was following a trans person.
Why? I do not know.
Jayrose’s creation was casually dressed. Nothing about her look screams trans or queer. She is a young, pretty woman with neatly groomed eyebrows and short hair. I’m guessing her age somewhere north of twenty and south of thirty, and she comes off as unremarkable for her generation.
Nonetheless, she was badly harassed through that closed stall door while relieving herself. When she left the cabin to wash her hands, the woman confronted her. Aggressively.
“I’m really disappointed with how [the casino] handled it, because even though I ended up not being a trans kid, she thought I was, and she attacked me for it. — Createjayrose on TikTok
But wait, that’s not the worst. Keep reading for the truly shocking bit.
Creatingjayrose recorded the interaction. There wasn’t much to see, but there is a lot to hear and it’s very ugly.
I gasped watching for the first time, although I didn’t “get it” right away. What I understood at first was pretty bad. An angry woman confronts another woman in a public restroom, harassing and threatening her for her perceived gender presentation.
It’s not shocking. It is unfortunately commonplace.
Stories of cisgender women being harassed for “looking trans” have become increasingly common since Aimee Toms was aggressively confronted in a Walmart bathroom in 2016.
Cisgender women who don’t look “feminine enough” now make headlines on a fairly regular basis when some transphobic bullies “clock” them badly.
Stories of trans people being harassed or beaten for using public toilets are more common, although according to Voice, “Multiple surveys have found that states and schools that have offered legal protections to trans people for years have never linked a case of sexual assault or harassment in a bathroom to trans-friendly policies.”
In simpler terms: the people in real danger in public restrooms are trans people, not cisgender women.
Ready for the worst? Here we are!
When Creatingjayrose finally leaves the booth after bracing herself for the confrontation, the woman cries out in apparent triumph,
“He’s a child!” It’s a boy!”
Then she follows Creatingjayrose to a sink, harassing her and demanding that she reveal her gender identity by washing her hands.
Creationjayrose, who later explained that she was very scared, did not cooperate with the self-proclaimed cop’s questioning: “I don’t think it’s your business,” she said.
“Oh no? So you’re in the ladies room where I think I need to identify you.
Creatingjayrose refused several more requests for personal information, rushing through her hygiene and driving to where her boyfriend was waiting, asking her to call security.
So here’s the really shocking part:
Throughout the interaction, Creatingjayrose spoke in her ordinary female voice…so high pitched that if she had really been the boy her bully insisted she was, she couldn’t have been more than 11 or 12 years old.
Clearly prepubescent. Clearly a small child.
Her bully became more hostile and physically aggressive as he thought she was dealing with a small child. My parental hedgehogs go up just thinking about it. How dare you treat a child that way! What’s wrong with people?
The casino management’s response demonstrates a complete disregard for the safety of trans people.
Perhaps the worst part of this story is that casino management ignored the incident, saying they would not ban the bullying woman from their premises for attacking someone she believed to be a child.
Later, Michelle Bacigalupi, vice president and general manager of Rampart Casino reportedly said; “Rampart Casino does not condone this behavior and this situation is not taken lightly. We are working with local law enforcement and the incident is under active investigation.
Creatingjayrose says Bacigalupi is lying.
She says Rampart management dismissed her concerns and refused to bar the bully from the casino. She says they told her they viewed the incident as just a small personal disagreement. They told her they would take no further action unless she involved the police on her own initiative. She says they told her if she called the cops they might or might not make it worse.
I say “highlights” because callous reaction from Rampart management is very common, as evidenced by real trans kids all over the United States every day. Want a license to bully without consequence? Go after a trans kid. Watch other adults encourage you, make excuses, or make fun of the child in question.
As if Western civilization could crumble if a tiny minority of people of different sexes, including children, were left to pee in peace.
I’m almost mad at myself for writing this column. Can I tell you why?
I have dozens of stories to write about real transgender kids facing far worse bullying. I prefer to tell THEIR stories, as much as I respect and appreciate Creatingjayrose for speaking.
I tell their stories, quite often. But quite often people shrug their shoulders, like it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t affect them personally.
Here, read about Ash. Learn more Tracey. Learn more Kody. I talked to each of them and some of their parents for hours. I wrote about the bullying and abuse that makes toilet harassment in this story seem like child’s play.
Kody, for example, is a trans kid living with his mother in a homeless shelter because adults have treated him with continued and increasing contempt and bullying…for years.
Kody’s mom packed as much of their stuff as she could fit in her car. Then she spent her last penny to keep her child away from bullies. Now she and her son are homeless.
Or read on the Rainbow Youth Project, whose counselors and case managers have asked me to interview Tracey, Kody and other bullied trans kids, to help raise awareness of the growing hostility towards children.
According to the LGBTQ youth advocacy organization GLSEN, growing hostility towards transgender children is evident in their latest National LGBTQ School Climate Survey. Rates of bullying and violence against LGBTQ students jumped last year, accelerating a trend that began in 2016. For the first time in decades, rates of teachers and other adult staff addressing anti-LGBTQ slurs to students have increased, and very significantly.
staff at Rainbow Youth and The Trevor Project said the Los Angeles Blade that their crisis hotlines are overwhelmed and that their resources are increasingly stretched as they struggle to meet growing demand.
Yesterday, Rainbow Youth had to add phone line capacity because their systems suppressed calls from suicidal gay youth from conservative states where anti-LGBTQ political messages create even more fear, hostility and intimidation.
What’s wrong with people?
Trans people do exist. They always have. This is a very small minority of human beings who, anthropologists and sociologists tell us, exist across cultures and as far back in human existence as possible.
Trans people are not dangerous. Rates of violence committed by trans people are so low that they literally cannot be measured.
Nevertheless, trans people experience violence, hostility and intimidation in staggering numbers, at high rates that are very easy to measure.
When a young woman like Creatingjayrose fears for her personal safety because someone misidentifies her as trans, perhaps you can begin to see just how out of control things truly are. When she records the entire interaction and still cannot get justice, the out-of-control nature of the problem crystallizes.
What is happening to us as a nation and a society? When child bullying is acceptable, when bullying rates increase dramatically, something is seriously wrong.
Just ask Rainbow Youth Project, as they fight to help children guilty of nothing but being themselves.
James Finn is a columnist for LA Blade, a former Air Force intelligence analyst, alumnus of Queer Nation and Act Up NY, and an unpublished “agent” novelist. Send questions, comments and story ideas to [email protected]
The previous article was previously published by Prism & Pen – Amplifying LGBTQ voices through the art of storytelling and is republished with permission.
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