Politics

Photo Shoot of Transgender Girl Sparks Debate About Bathroom Bills and Beauty

It's 2016 and Americans are having a heated conversation over where people are allowed to pee.

The debate is fueled by "bathroom bills" in North Carolina and Mississippi.

NC State Flag

These bills ban transgender people from using the public restroom that matches their gender identity.

Unisex bathroom sign

Supporters of these bill say that transgender people, specifically transgender women, are "men pretending to be women" and pose a serious threat.

A recent ad by Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz plays into this belief.

One photographer, Meg Bitton, is asking those people to change their minds.

She's doing that by posting a photo she took of a young transgender girl and sharing it on Facebook. Meet Corey:

portrait of transgender girl

Corey Maison is a teenage girl. But because she was born with male genitalia, under House Bill 2 in North Carolina, Corey would have to use the men's restroom. Neither Corey, or photographer Meg Bitton, think that's sensible or fair.

Corey Maison "you think I belong in the men's bathroom?"

As Bitton wrote with the portrait of Corey (which Corey also shared):

If this was YOUR daughter, would you be comfortable sending her into a men's bathroom? Neither would I. Be fair. Be kind. Be empathetic. Treat others how you would like to be treated.

Seems like a simple message, but it was still met with some strong opposition.

Bitton added a few edits to her original post, trying to clarify a few points:

Second Post: I guess I need to edit this post. Corey IS TRANSGENDER.

Third Post for those STILL not able to understand: If this was YOUR daughter, would you be comfortable sending her into a men's bathroom? Neither would I. Corey Maison is transgender. She was born with male anatomy but identifies as a female. Under the new laws, SHE would be forced to use the men's room. Therefore, I would not be comfortable sending HER into the men's room if she was my daughter. Be fair. Be kind. Be empathetic. Treat others how you would like to be treated.

[...] It is impossible to moderate this post, try as we may. I want to delete it as badly as I don't want to delete it. I decided to let Corey's mother make that call and she asked for it to stay to raise awareness so it will. PLEASE BE ASSURED that I do not in anyway support the trolling insanity I am seeing here and I VERY MUCH appreciate all the positivity around Corey as does she AND her family.

Some were in support of Corey using the women's restroom, but questioned why Corey was so heavily made up in the photo:

FB comment

FB comment

To which Bitton replied:

"Corey helped with her make up AND I edited the image FOR her, the way SHE would like it. Not for me and certainly not for any of you."

Another trend began to emerge: one of people who merely posted comments of their approval of Corey's looks, which became a strange sort of objectification of a teenage girl:

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FB comment

FB comment

Which lead some to point out that it seemed as though Corey was only being accepted as a woman who deserved to use the women's restroom because of her beauty:

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One person even proclaimed that "any child" who looks "as cute" as Corey should never have to be "uncomfortable":

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Perhaps this comment sums it up the best:

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"Stay strong Corey!!!" the comment reads. "You are beautiful inside and out and I'm sure your parents are just so entirely proud of you!!"

[H/T The Daily Dot]