A transgender man in Charlotte, North Carolina, is leading the fight against an anti-LGBT law, which was approved by the state earlier this month. In an effort to educate residents about the discriminatory policies included in House Bill 2, Charlie Comero decided to pass out cards that contain information about a clause requiring him to use the women's restroom.
"I'm following the law that was passed on March 23," the card reads. "I am a transgender man who would rather be using the men's room right now. This is likely uncomfortable for both of us."
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed what has been described as "the most anti-LGBT bill to pass in America" on March 23, prompting an outcry from LGBT rights advocates and even a handful of corporations that have voiced opposition to its passage. House Bill 2 effectively restricts the ability of cities to pass laws protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination.
A provision that was added to the bill prohibits transgender people from using public bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, The Huffington Post reports. Not only does this discriminate against the LGBT community, it also puts transgender people at risk of violence and harassment, Comero wrote in a Facebook post.
"When I started feeling male privilege during my transition, I vowed to myself that I would use that privilege to bring awareness to things that might not be popular to say," Comero wrote. "[A]nything else would be a betrayal of myself and my equity/feminist values."
While the law has been met with widespread condemnation — including a federal lawsuit brought against the state by the American Civil Liberties Union on Monday — McCrory has insisted that the function of House Bill 2 is not to discriminate or "[take] away any rights whatsoever of individuals." Comero, for his part, disagrees.
"The truth is that when folks in the general public are called upon by fellow citizens who happen to be transgender to be curious and compassionate about what it’s like to be a transgender individual, it sticks more," he told The Huffington Post. "It’s a new thing for many — and there are many of us (myself included) who are willing to educate and speak with them from a place of love and compassion. That is the purpose of my cards: to show an amount of absurdity about the law and to educate folks [about] what being transgender means."