I originally posted this on Facebook. This incident happened about three days after McCrazy signed that bill into law and we were constantly living in a state of paranoia.
So yesterday Roxy and I went on our monthly hay run. On the way back we stopped at a local place that straddles NC and VA so I could get some Bar-B-Que and use the restroom. They have rockin Bar-B-Que and I have been going there since the day it was built many, many years ago. I have never felt unsafe there or anything and all the people know us.
So Roxy and I are slowly making our way to the back where the restrooms are because she is having to lean on me a little more and there is an older woman in front of us walking to the same set of doors.
All of a sudden the woman stops and turns and says to me, “These bathrooms are…” now my mind starts racing. I’m like, are you serious? Here of all places and also what can I do against a little old woman. I mean, I towered over her and being raised in the South I really was taught to respect my elders when possible. Now all those thoughts happen in about .5 of a second, then she continues with, “so much nicer than those down there.”
To make things clearer there is an older set of bathrooms at the front of the store that no one likes to use because they are scary.
I smile and say, “Yes ma’am, they sure are.” I don’t think she even realized she was blocking me from entering.
That’s what this law in NC has done. It has caused perfectly innocent encounters to be viewed with suspicion and raised the level of paranoia so high that we have to always be on guard.
Now it’s been a few months and I have had a chance to observe some changes to our area…but it’s not the people who live here. It’s not the hard working locals who don’t want this law and have never discriminated against Roxy and me.
Who is it, then?
What we have observed is the tourists who are acting as the potty police. We, as locals accepted by the community around us, have been looked at up and down as we walk into the bathroom, inspected and categorized…like its their job to make sure we belong there!
This law has become a clarion call for all the bigots who live in states where they can’t misbehave so openly. They come here on vacation, primed and ready to create hate and discontent. We’ve seen it in the face of older, white men standing guard near the bathrooms and we’ve seen it on social media. These people crow about it, joyous in their choice of vacation spot, as if the chance to harass some poor trans-person or lesbian would make their day. It’s horrible. We are attracting the worse kind of vacationer and I think it will make for a violent and tense season here this summer.
This law goes beyond state lines. It has encouraged the basest behavior in a certain subset of citizens who feel that their hate and bigotry is protected, and that keeping them from acting out their bias is somehow a form of discrimination. It is hypocrisy at its worst. This hypocrisy does not exist along imaginary lines that delineate one state from another, but laws such as HB2 do serve to fuel the fires behind their actions.
Why is this important to discuss?
A huge number of people have said they won’t come here, that they won’t spend money here. Many companies have left, musicians have cancelled their concerts…all in an attempt to punish the government. These people don’t care. Punishment feeds their sense of persecution. What it does do is hurt the every day person, many of who aren’t homophobic, many who are gay themselves, or have gay relatives.
So please, when you say you don’t want to support N.C. anymore, remember we didn’t ask for this law. The majority actually don’t support it, so if you abandon us you leave us to the people that do support it, the ones that make it a point to come here hoping to harass someone.