Twitter Calls out the Glaring Hypocrisy in Public Safety Priorities

June 12th 2016

Aron Macarow

Condolences and prayers rolled in from anti-LGBTQ politicians on social media in response to the Sunday morning massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., — but Twitter called out their apparent hypocrisy in nanoseconds.

Former Republican Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, GOP North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, and many politicos with long track records of opposition to basic human rights for the gay and trans community suddenly had a lot to say about justice for the LGBTQ victims — but were curiously silent about their support of so-called bathroom bills or their efforts to thwart 2015's historic marriage equality ruling and other civil rights for LGBTQ Americans.

But Twitter was having none of it. Responding to the recent conservative backlash against transgender people for wanting safe access to gender-appropriate bathrooms, people took to the social media platform to eviscerate what they saw as an erroneous focus on anti-LGBTQ bathroom bills over gun control legislation.

Some asked why it should be harder for trans people to go to the bathroom (or for gay men to donate blood) than for people to buy assault weapons.

Others wondered why politicians and pundits who had previously railed against LGBTQ people suddenly found themselves standing with LGBTQ victims, particularly officials like McCrory.

The North Carolina governor has previously suggested that allowing trans and gender-variant individuals to safely go to the restroom would create "major public safety issues" in his state.


Still others drew pointed comparisons between the supposed fear of cisgender (non-transgender) people sharing bathrooms with trans people to the real fear of hate crimes committed against gay and transgender people.

At least 23 trans women lost their lives to anti-transgender violence in the U.S. in 2015, and trans women have a one-in-12 chance of being murdered in America, according to Trans Student Educational Resources. Meanwhile, more than half of LGBTQ people report being concerned about being the victim of a hate crime, per the Human Rights Campaign.

This isn't the first time that guns and bathroom access have come up recently in the same conversation, either.

Anita Staver, attorney for the anti-gay group Liberty Counsel and wife of the lawyer for Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, struck a nerve when she tweeted in April that she would be bringing a gun into public restroom facilities with her as her "bodyguard" in response to Target's new inclusive bathroom policy. Her violent posturing alarmed many.

Luckily, this time is different. Rather that someone calling for cisgender people to bring guns into restrooms to ward off transgender people, Twitter is calling out politicians for their shaky public safety priorities that label someone just trying to pee as more of a threat than a mass shooter.