Not Just a Bathroom: The Reality of HB2

A new bill, nicknamed “the bathroom bill” is tearing my sweet state apart. Tied now with Mississippi, North Carolina stands as one of the most discriminatory states in the country. This bill, HB2, has gained global attention and swept across the front pages and screens of many media outlets. I hope this post informs you and encourages you to stand up to this heartbreaking change.

Yes, it starts with a bathroom. NC Governor Pat McCrory passed this bill eliminating a law that protects transgender people and allowing them to use public restrooms based on their identity.

You might hear someone say this is for safety. Or protection of their children. I am not mocking their fears; I am simply saying these fears are not based in fact. Statistically, transgender assault in bathrooms is not a thing. 3 cities in South Carolina practice the “open” bathroom policy with great success. There have been NO reported problems from transgender bathroom use in these three cities. Outside of the South, over 200 cities nationally allow transgenders to choose whichever bathroom they identify with.

Now to address the many claims of safety and protection: to be blunt, if someone wants to harm someone else, they will. They do not wait for a law such as this to enable their crime. They do not abstain from committing a crime since our bathrooms today are only men & women. The claim that HB2 enables pedophiles and sexual predators is exaggerated and irrational. Law or no law, someone with the intent to hurt and do wrong will. No matter what.

Major businesses around the country have spoken up about McCrory’s bill – airlines from some cities block incoming flights to NC, Google made public their disapproval, Apple spoke up about their disappointment, artists are cancelling performances in NC left and right, and even adult websites halted traffic from NC. The bill includes no plans to end discrimination against the LGBTQ community and protect them in their offices and jobs. McCrory has made this population stripped of their rights and very vulnerable. This is heartbreaking and a disappointing step backwards for my home state.

But what about outside of the bathrooms? Outside of the LGBTQ community? Does it have any impact? YES. Absolutely. The bill essentially knocked down any anti discrimination law in the state, meaning that anyone anywhere can be denied service for any reason. This can include religion, biological sex, disability, and even military status (yes, there are people who are anti-military). This is the part a lot of people don’t know; the impact that the bill has on a majority of the population is astounding and should be made more public. A lot of people I talk to (most recently, on Twitter) don’t know that the bill extends past the LGBTQ population. Because of this, I encourage you to research all of the components of a bill before choosing your side! Understanding the full impact and the true extent of a bill, no matter it’s contents, is very important.

After an explosion of criticism, Gov. McCrory stepped up to the spotlight and said there was a “great deal of misinformation, misinterpretation…I am taking action to affirm and improve the states commitment to privacy and equality.” (via CNN) But there is no information. The bill is not misinterpreted. The bill is close-minded, ignorant, and wrong.

I hope this post provided you with a summary of this bill; I hope this post serves as a call of action and a plea to speak up, stay up to date, and stay involved. If you have any questions about the bill and it’s impact, please don’t hesitate to ask me below via comment or you can email me directly: swraex@gmail.com. This posts featured image is via Amazon.

And HAPPY FRIDAY!

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  • Abby

    Mississippian here, so I feel your pain. It’s hard when the rest of the country thinks everyone in your state is close-minded and ignorant just because the people in charge are. I’m wondering, though, if the reasoning behind the bathroom part of the bill isn’t a little different than what you discussed. I always figured it was to keep men from going into women’s restrooms to ogle or do harm and just claim they’re transgender. Like you said, I don’t really think that’s a thing, but it’s what I assumed the reasoning was for that part of the bill.

    • Savannah Ward

      Hey Abby! Yes. I agree 100%. I’m so embarrassed to be from the South sometimes, honestly! And you’re right, the bill is seemingly for that reason: safety and protection. But it’s so much more than that. I think what you’re discussing relates to the part in my post where I address safety; if a man wanted to dress as a woman and assault someone in the bathroom, using your example, they still can. I understand someone’s reservations since one automatically thinks of men wandering into women’s bathrooms and doing awful things, but this hasn’t happened as a result of the bill elsewhere. There haven’t been any transgender assault cases reported in SC since 2010, I believe? That year is off of the top of my head so I might be a couple off. This supports my statement that if someone wants to commit a crime, they aren’t going to wait for a bill such as this. I really appreciate you commenting and hope this helped you understand more of where I’m coming from! Happy Friday!!

  • Anna Hubbard

    I live in Iowa, a fairly liberal state when it comes to LGBTQ rights, so when I heard about this bill, my heart broke. I really like how you highlighted this bill because it needs to be kept in the public eye! Thank you for sharing!
    -Anna | http://www.fivefootandfabulous.com

    • Savannah Ward

      Thanks so much Anna! I’ve met a lot of people recently that don’t know the full impact of the bill, so I was hoping this post would bring to light the severity of it. Hope you had a great weekend!

  • I was so disappointed to hear about this bill! Whenever I think the state of our country is improving I’m reminded that in a lot of ways, we still have a long way to go.

    LiveLifeWell,
    Allison

    • Savannah Ward

      I agree with you 100%. While we have made great progress, the steps we take backwards are pretty severe and threatening. Thanks for reading!

  • it’s so sad to hear about this! We should be moving forward to more tolerance not less and not out of unjustifiable fears. It’s so unfortunate about the bill, but I hope it doesn’t pass because, like you said, the effects and consequences effect so much more than just bathrooms.

    • Savannah Ward

      “We should be moving forward to more tolerance not less and not out of unjustifiable fears.” <<< YES. I couldn't have said it any better.

  • Ugh, how awful. It is definitely important to research bills before choosing a side. I think a lot of millinials rely on the media to tell them what they need to know & end up making a decision base on what they say on the news, or in articles.

    • Savannah Ward

      That’s a great point! I feel as if today, the media is so biased and its so hard to get a straight answer or explanation. Doing just a little bit of research goes a long way!

  • Wow, how sad. I am hoping that the governor of NC gets his stuff together and tries to retract the bill or something.
    xoxo, Jenny

    • Savannah Ward

      I know 🙁 He is taking back a lot and making some changes, but the impact still stands. Its pretty scary.

  • Thank you for sharing this information!

    • Savannah Ward

      Hey Stephanie, thanks for reading!

  • It is hard to imagine a bill like this was even a possibility.

    • Savannah Ward

      I KNOW! It is extremely hard to believe. Thanks for reading!

  • It’s upsetting that a bill like this was passed. I actually recently published a blog post about Bruce Springsteen becuase he decided to opt out of preforming for one of his shows in NC becuase of this law. x, kenz http://sincerelykenz.com

    • Savannah Ward

      Hey! I loved reading your post about Springsteen. I’m glad more popular figures are stepping forward now to raise awareness — Mumford and Sons is donating a ton of money to an LGBTQ charity and the director of Broadway musical Wicked won’t let anyone in NC perform the play.

  • Glad you voiced your opinion on this. I was disappointed when I heard about this bill. I think part of it is people are afraid of change. I just hope NC gets it’s act together real soon.

    xoxo

    Amy | Pastel N Pink

    • Savannah Ward

      I agree, people are definitely afraid of change, but this is not how we handle it! I hope my state can get itself together as well. Hope you had a great weekend!

  • Amen to this sista! Thanks for bringing the issue to light

    • Savannah Ward

      Thanks so much, Shane! 🙂

  • Ashlee Elizabeth

    I am over in Tennessee, and I am very afraid that we are going to join this in the near future. I am an Ole Miss graduate, so I was very upset when I heard about Mississippi, and I can’t believe it is 2016 and people are acting this way. Hopefully we can dig our way out of this, and get back to a positive and progressive America. I am very glad you made a post about this, this definitely needs to be brought to light, and have people understand what is actually going on.

    Ashlee Liz
    http://www.ashleeliz.com

    • Savannah Ward

      Thank you so much for reading, Ashlee! And I have a friend that goes to Ole Miss…he LOVES it. I can’t believe we’re like this in 2016 either. We seem to be going backwards 🙁 Hope you had a great weekend!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m such an advocate for equality, and it breaks my heart for people who have to face this kind of discrimination daily.

  • To be honest, before this bill this wasn’t an issue and now because of it they have made it one.

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

  • Lauren Ashley

    Are you kidding me? I think everyone should be treated equally. This really breaks my heart. I agree that anyone who wants to hurt someone will do it either way. Ridiculous.

    Lauren

    The Fashionista’s Diary

  • I hope one day equality can be for all