The #PlettPutMeHere campaign was started by transgender woman Brae Carnes after the Canadian Senate passed an amendment to a transgender rights bill that would exclude transgender people from using restrooms of their choice.
Proposed by Senator Donald Plett, the amendment would exempt public restrooms and other single-sex facilities from transgender anti-discrimination law.
In response, Carnes, from Victoria in British Columbia, posted pictures of herself in men’s restrooms online in an attempt to show legislators “how completely ridiculous it is”.
Carnes told The Times Colonist that when she enters a men’s bathroom, “there’s a sense of, oh, I’m in the wrong place.”
“Luckily, I haven’t had any altercations in the men’s room thus far. But they look at me like, ‘What is she doing here?’” she said. “It’s very awkward for them and it puts them in an awkward situation.”
Although Plett’s amendment passed in the Canadian senate, the long-debated bill will now return to the House of Commons. It is generally believed it will not pass prior to the election in October this year.
Transgender people in some US states are facing a similar predicament, with bills put forward by Republican lawmakers in Florida and Texas that would make it illegal for people to use a restroom that does not align with their biological sex.
If passed, these laws could impose jail terms and fines on transgender people.
Michael Hughes, a transgender man from Minnesota, was inspired by Carnes to start a similar movement in the US in response to the proposed laws.
Hughes told BuzzFeed News that his main reason for bringing the campaign to the US was to show “how ludicrous these laws would look in action”.
He said he felt compelled to stand up against the proposed laws even though he is able to use his preferred restroom without incident.
“I used men’s restrooms several years before transition. I had a hard time using women’s rooms most of my adult life,” he said. “I would be able to use men’s facilities without question but that’s a privilege not every trans person has, especially early in transition.”
“I’m doing this to stand up for my trans brothers and sisters.”
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