Tamara Woodard stood on the steps of the Capitol on Monday holding a sign saying, “Pedophiles and children molesters outnumber transgender people 15:1.” She said as a “user of bathrooms,” she disagrees with a new state rule allowing transgender individuals to the restroom or locker room that matches their gender identity.
More than 300 activists from both sides of the transgender bathroom debate showed up on the steps of the Capitol on Monday in support and protest of the rule.
The Senate failed to pass a bill last week that would have repealed the rule.
The Washington State Human Rights Commission adopted the rule in December. Woodard says the commission kept it from the public.
“People didn’t know about the rule because they were hiding it,” Woodard said. “They didn’t expose what they were doing.”
She said that there has to be some standards for restroom use. Opponents of the rule say they fear sex offenders will take advantage of the rule to get into bathrooms to abuse women and children.
Supporters of the rule held their own rally on steps. Ryannah with the Gender Justice League spoke on behalf of the transgender community in favor of keeping the rule.
Ryannah, who declined to give her last name, said she’s a survivor of sexual and physical abuse. As such, she said she deserves the same rights as anyone else.
“If you identify as a transman, you should be able to feel safe while using the restroom,” she said. “We should be able to feel safe as a community.”
Ryannah said that the bill protects more than her gender identity.
“This bill would not just affect me as a transwoman but the intersections that come with me,” she said. “As a person of color and as a person who is perceived as a larger more intimidating person.”