US university launches investigation after trans woman filmed and confronted in women’s bathroom

By Abby Amoakuh

Published May 8, 2024 at 12:37 PM

Reading time: 1 minute

In a shocking turn of events, Western Carolina University (WCU) has launched an investigation into an incident wherein a trans woman was confronted and filmed without her consent inside of a women’s bathroom.

In the video, which we have chosen not to include due to its transphobic nature, the person behind the camera can be heard asking the trans woman what she is doing in the female toilets. The individual being filmed simply responds: “Going to the bathroom.”

“Why are you in the girls’ bathroom?” the amateur filmmaker further probes, to which the student replies that she is a trans girl. The woman behind the camera then retorts: “But you’re not a girl.”

“Interesting. Never had this before. I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry you feel that way,” the trans woman replies calmly.

After the attacker is heard claiming that she “pays a lot of money” to be safe in the female toilets, the trans woman agrees and then leaves the bathroom premises.

The video, which was posted on social media and quickly went viral, was filmed on the WCU campus.

After the clip was picked up by the conservative account @LibsofTikTok, a wave of hatred and abuse was directed at the trans woman, further highlighting the danger trans and nonbinary individuals are frequently subjected to.

Nevertheless, there was also a lot of vocal support for the victim, with a WCU spokesman telling The Advocate: “Western Carolina University is dedicated to fostering a safe and welcoming environment for all students. The university’s primary concern is the safety and wellbeing of all members of its campus community.”

This incident happened against the backdrop of North Carolina’s bathroom laws and restrictions. In 2016, the state passed the country’s first transgender bathroom bill, which determines that people have to use the bathroom matching the sex on their birth certificate.

Restrictive bathroom bills like these have emerged across the US in recent years, passing in eleven Republican-led states, from Florida to Utah.

Across the pond, in the UK, all new non-residential buildings could be forced to have separate male and female toilets under proposed legislation from the Tory-led UK government in an attempt to ban gender-neutral facilities.

Yet, cases such as the one at WCU highlight the vulnerability of trans and nonbinary people and expose them to violence and abuse when they are denied the usage of facilities that reflect their gender identity.

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