Right-wing media monitored and filmed people using the designated all-gender restroom at the Democratic National Convention, looking for “obviously transgender” convention attendees in the bathroom. Conservative media have long peddled the bogus myth that nondiscrimination protections for transgender people will allow male sexual predators to sneak into women’s bathrooms by pretending to be transgender, leading to an increase in assault and misbehavior in restrooms.
Democratic National Convention Has An All-Gender Restroom
BuzzFeed: People Were “Unfazed” By The All-Gender Restroom At The Democratic National Convention. BuzzFeed reported that the Democratic convention has one designated all-gender restroom and that attendees were “seemingly unfazed” by it, calling the shared bathroom “perfectly natural” and saying that using it was a “nonevent”:
Hundreds of men and women shared a big, busy “all-gender restroom” at the Democratic National Convention on Monday — and were seemingly unfazed by the experience.
“It doesn’t make me nervous at all,” Lula Dualeh, a delegate for Bernie Sanders, told BuzzFeed News. “I just need to use the restroom. I don’t care who’s next to me.”
But restrooms have been a hot-button issue for many Republicans. State and federal politicians have politicized bathroom access, saying that allowing transgender women — whom they call “men” — to use the women’s restroom poses a safety threat.
At the Wells Fargo Center, which also had single-sex restrooms, a sign at the entrance of the all-gender restroom featured a figurine in a dress and another figurine without a dress.
Inside, everyone took turns using stalls; then women and men washed their hands side-by-side at a bank of sinks. Nobody who spoke to BuzzFeed News found the situation troubling.
A co-ed pack of conventioneers were searching for a bathroom — one restroom for the guys and another for the women — when one of the guys saw the sign and said, “It’s an all-gender restroom. Let’s go.” The group emerged a couple minutes later. Did they have any qualms about sharing a bathroom with each other at the same time? “It was a nonevent,” one woman said. “It was perfectly natural.” [BuzzFeed News, 7/25/16]
Right-Wing Media Figures Have Long History Of Fearmongering About Nondiscrimination Protections For Transgender People
Right-Wing Media Have Long Peddled The Debunked “Bathroom Predator” Myth To Oppose Protections For Transgender People. Right-wing media figures have raised false flags about nondiscrimination protections for transgender people by claiming that such protections would allow sexual predators to sneak into women’s restrooms by pretending to be transgender. Outlets have even peddled fabricated horror stories spread by anti-LGBT hate groups to gin up fear over nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people. [Media Matters, 3/20/14; 5/13/16; 10/7/15; 5/19/16]
The “Bathroom Predator” Myth Has Been Repeatedly Debunked By Experts Across The Country. The myth that sexual predators will exploit nondiscrimination laws to sneak into women’s restrooms by pretending to be transgender has been repeatedly debunked by experts and government officials in 16 states and the District of Columbia, school administrators in 23 school districts and four universities, as well as advocates for the prevention of sexual assault. [Media Matters, 5/5/16]
Right-Wing Media Figures Film Themselves And Others In The Convention Bathroom, Monitor Restroom For “Obviously Transgender People,” And Call All-Gender Bathroom “Disgusting”
Wash. Free Beacon Reporter Tweeted Video Footage Of Colleague In The Bathroom. Washington Free Beacon staff writer Elizabeth Harrington tweeted a video of fellow Free Beacon staff writer Brent Scher using the all-gender bathroom at the convention. Several other convention goers inside the bathroom appeared in the footage:
— Elizabeth Harrington (@LizWFB) July 25, 2016
Wash. Free Beacon: “No Transgender Individuals Were Spotted Using The Restrooms.” The Washington Free Beacon reported on the all-gender bathroom at the convention, noting, “No transgender individuals were spotted using the restroom, but it was being used by both male and female reporters, as well as some cameramen.” [Washington Free Beacon, 7/25/16]
The Daily Caller Monitored The All-Gender Restroom For “Obviously Transgender People.” The Daily Caller reported that it “observed” the all-gender restroom at the convention for “a brief period” and saw “no obviously transgender people use it.” [The Daily Caller, 7/25/16]
The Daily Caller: “HuffPost Editor Has Virgin All-Gender Bathroom Experience.” The Daily Caller reported on a tweet from Huffington Post global editorial director Howard Fineman sayng that he had used the all-gender bathroom at the convention. Fineman stated that it was “my 1st all-gender bathroom.” Daily Caller reporter Betsy Rothstein wrote of Fineman’s tweet: “Let’s hope he washed his hands and zipped up his fly. Or wiped as needed.” [The Daily Caller, 7/25/16]
Fox's Tucker Carlson: Having Gender-Neutral Bathrooms At The Democratic National Convention Is “Disgusting.” On the July 26 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson called the entire Democratic convention “bizarre, starting from the gender-neutral bathrooms, which are disgusting.” Recently, a Fox correspondent revealed that Fox News has gender-neutral bathrooms “right outside the studio.” [Media Matters, 7/26/16, 7/22/16]