Friday, March 17, 2017

Woman Used in Gross Transphobic Ad: "Fuck You, Transphobes"

[TRIGGER WARNING: ATTEMPTED RAPE, TRANSPHOBIC RHETORIC]

Kelly Herron became a national treasure overnight after the transphobes behind Washington State's I-1552 used her story of being sexually assaulted in a bathroom without her permission. She survived a violent and traumatic attempted rape by a sex offender in a public restroom, and the transphobic "Just Want Privacy" campaign used her story and photos of her injuries without asking her in an email blast asking for donations to fund their shit initiative. Their shitiative. I'll work on that.

When Herron found out about this, she went to the press and released a statement saying in no uncertain terms that she was not happy with them.

“To the people behind I-1552, I say ‘not today, mutherf**kers,’” Herron said in a press release. “I refuse to allow anyone to use me and my horrific sexual assault to cause harm and discrimination to others.”

This is especially beautiful because "not today, motherfucker" is what she yelled at the attempted rapist as she fought him off.

Beyond the general fucked up-ness of using the story of someone's trauma without their permission to fuel your politics, it's fucked up because it makes no sense. The sex offender, Gary Steiner, is a cis man who has pulled shit like this in Arizona, where you can bet there's no protections for trans people. Removing laws allowing trans people to use the bathrooms they want to use would not have stopped this man from attempting to rape Herron. And said laws did not stop police from arresting and charging Steiner with attempted rape.

All these laws do is force trans people out of the public sphere, preventing them from being able to have anything close to a normal life. Meanwhile, sexual predators can still enter any bathroom they want at any time because bathroom guards are not a thing. Just like trans people assaulting people in bathrooms is not a thing.

Honestly, if transphobes "just want privacy," then they should use their bathrooms at home or single-stall bathrooms only. Why should millions of trans people suffer because of an irrational fear of something that never happens?

Anyway, Herron is great, and this is how you ally. I've received emails from the Washington Won't Discriminate campaign, a counter campaign to "Just Want Privacy," which is now working with Herron to solicit donations to the movement to protect trans people. She took a horrible experience and turned it into something positive for other people, who, by the way, suffer sexual assault at a much higher rate than cis people. Way to go, Kelly Herron! And go fuck yourselves, Just Want Privacy.

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