Religious extremist attacks cis woman for using unisex bathroom

A cisgender man connected with a Florida Christian convention accosted a cisgender woman with a Bible as she exited an “All Genders” restroom at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando.  The man, shouting about Biblical interpretations of gender while waving his bible around wildly, apparently assumed the cisgender woman was a transgender woman who was participating in a nearby LGBT media convention.

The incident came to light when the hotel publicly apologized to the LGBT media convention, on behalf of the hotel owner, Harris Rosen, for the incident and stationed a security guard next to the unisex restroom to prevent further disturbances.

Security posted next to bathroom to protect individuals from religious extremist harassment

A representative for the Rosen Centre hotel told the LGBT media group, “There are people who apparently can’t control their behavior; however, we are here to make sure that we are protecting you and I have directed our security staff to stand there the entire time you are here.”

An individual who was with the religious group, and who did not wish to be identified, attempted to get a spokesperson to tell their side of the story to the TransAdvocate. The individual responsible for getting the religious group’s spokesperson, said the spokesperson was praying and would do an interview after their prayer was completed. After waiting an hour for the spokesperson to appear for their interview, other members of the religious group were interviewed.

An individual with the religious group who did not wish to be identified said, “There was a fight or something, I won’t be coming back here. I’m going to talk to my pastor and we won’t be coming back here.” Alternatively, Brenda McCastle, another member of the religious group, agreed to be identified and took no issue with the existence of a unisex bathroom, “I just don’t care.” Commenting on the harassment by a member of her religious group, she said, “You generally know what someone’s identified gender is, but sometimes you don’t and people have to use the bathroom. As long as nobody is trying to get into the stall I’m using, I just don’t care and can’t understand why anyone else would!”

In remembrance of the 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub terrorist shooting, the LGBT media convention chose to hold its 2017 convention in Orlando, Florida.

Related: “Pervert”

Watch Texas Tea Party Senator call a doctor a “pervert” in testimony against SB6, the bill making its way through the Texas legislature that would require trans and intersex Texans to use the restroom based upon their birth certificate, regardless of phenotype or transitioned status.

Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of underserved communities. She started the first trans homeless shelter in Texas and co-founded the first federally funded housing-first homeless program, pioneered affordable health care for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. She has published short stories, academic chapters and papers, and numerous articles for both print and digital magazines. She received numerous awards for her advocacy and has presented at universities throughout the nation, served on several governmental committees and CBO boards, is the Editor of the TransAdvocate, and is a founding board member of the Transgender Foundation of America and the Bee Busy Wellness Center.