“This is probably that one thing that is going to turn into the big national debacle, go to the Supreme Court, and finally fix this shit once and for all,” said UNCG senior and transgender woman, 39-year-old Jenn Goodman, of the recent passage of the House Bill 2, which criminalizes transgender people who attempt to use the bathroom which corresponds with their gender identity.
Goodman, who has been physically transitioning for the past three years, shared her unique experiences and concerns navigating the women’s restroom as a trans woman.
Of her initial experiences using the women’s bathroom while transitioning, Goodman explained that her experiences were positive.
“When I first started [transitioning] I worried, but, as my experiences continued to be positive, nobody cared. I seem to be more worried about it than anyone else. I was the paranoid one. I was the one, looking around to see who else was in there. I was the one freaking out, not anyone else,” said Goodman.
However, in light of the recent passage of the HB2 bill, Goodman said that she is afraid of encountering violence, because she feels more visibly trans.
“I am [worried about encountering violence in the women’s restroom] especially now. I worry when I go to the bathroom, that I’m going to be arrested. I run in circles, and they’re [trans people] all terrified. Last night I went to the Charlotte rally, and we [trans people] discussed the fact that a lot of people are not showing up [to rallies]. A lot of people didn’t go; trans women, trans men, gay women, gay men, because they’re terrified of going to one of these events and getting shot at, getting attacked, getting harassed, and it’s justified, 100 percent. Because it’s happened in the past, they have examples to look back on and see, you know, you go to these things [rallies], and you’re going to get harassed, sometimes by the police, who are supposed to be there to protect you. ” said Goodman.
While Goodman expressed fear of retribution for using the women’s bathroom, she refuses to let that stop her from continuing to use the women’s restroom.
“I’m using the women’s bathroom because I’m a woman. I’m using the women’s bathroom because I don’t care what some, you know, old crusty Republican bigot has to say, or what laws they pass. I don’t belong in a men’s room, and I’m not going in one. I haven’t, in a really long time, and I’m not going back,” said Goodman.
As for her concerns for using the women’s restroom in the future, Goodman described what it is like to use the women’s bathroom as a trans woman, and how she believes HB2 may change her experiences.
“So, what it changes, I think, well, you know, people stare at [trans] people going to the bathroom, and it’s weird, and it’s uncomfortable, and it’s awkward when it wasn’t before. This whole situation, the whole bill, has created a negative atmosphere, and I’m pretty sure it’s the same across the state for everyone. It did nothing good, there’s no positive in that whole bill. There’s not one good thing that anyone can brag about and say, ‘This is going to help someone,’” said Goodman.