We are disgusted by the news that Wisconsin legislators plan to introduce a bill that would police transgender students’ access to school facilities, including locker rooms and restrooms.
Legislative efforts like this one seek to alienate potential allies, limit inclusive accommodations, and excuse discrimination and violence against the transgender community.
These legislators have gone out of their way to capitalize on an irrational fear that all transgender men and women are predators and present a real danger to children.
According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, in the years that non-discrimination laws and policies have been in effect, which allow transgender adults and children to use the bathrooms which correspond to their gender identity, there is no evidence of a transgender person harassing, abusing or assaulting anyone. Additionally, there are no reports of any men posing as women just to gain access to female restrooms to commit assault or harassment.
Since PrideFest Milwaukee arrived on the Summerfest grounds in 1996, and first offered permanent, full-service restroom facilities, it has been the policy of Milwaukee Pride, Inc. to empower our guests to choose the restroom they prefer to use without fear of retaliation or harassment.
Based on community feedback, we further refined our inclusive restroom policy in 2015 to include increased access to more visible gender-neutral restrooms, more prominent restroom policy signage, a reinforced Safety Policy and expanded Code of Conduct expectations. As part of our mission and purpose, we are committed to doing what’s right for the evolving needs of our local LGBT+ community in 2016 and beyond.
As an organization that seeks to provide safe, welcoming and inclusive year-round programming for all members of the LGBT+ community and their allies, Milwaukee Pride, Inc. will not stand for this kind of blatant hatred in Wisconsin.
We stand strong with our transgender brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, children and friends against this attack and fight back against the defamation of our community’s character.
We applaud the ACLU of Wisconsin for making a public statement against this legislation on Thursday, October 8 and encourage all LGBT+ supportive agencies, companies and allies to do the same.