An unidentified American woman was forced from a public women’s restroom because she could not convince police that she is female.
The video was originally uploaded to Facebook on April 19, 2016 by activist and blogger Tamara McDaniel. It has since received over 2 million views and nearly 40 thousand shares. McDaniel captions the video, “Lesbian harassed and forced to leave a public restroom because the police insist she’s a man. Is this what ‘Make America Great Again’ means? This makes me very sad, and I want no part of this irrational fear.”
As SBS reports, in the video “the unnamed woman tries to convince the two male officers and one female officer present that she is a woman.” Her friends come to her defense, shouting “She’s a girl!”, but the police officers ignore them. The same officers then insist on “identification to prove her sex. She rejects their demand, offended. The male officers then manhandle her out of the restroom, whilst calling her ‘sir.’”
At the conclusion of the video, the cops tells the women’s friends that they are free to leave as well, and they indicate that they will.
Although it’s not clear where in the United States this encounter took place, a surge of especially pernicious transphobia is coursing through the nation. The state of North Carolina recently enacted a law forcing transgender people to use the bathrooms corresponding with the sex assigned to them at birth. Tennessee may also be in the process of writing prejudice into law, though their own transgender bathroom bill will not be pursued for another year.
Of course, the woman in the video emphasizes that she identifies as a cis-person, but the fear and phobia underpinning these recent legislations clearly has the potential to run rampant.
Video via YouTube.