Selfies are a staple on social media these days, but few have been so effective at calling out an injustice as Brae Carnes’. She is a Canadian trans-rights activist, and she’s taking selfies in public men’s rooms all over Canada to point out the major flaw in a proposed amendment which would force transgendered people to use the restroom that corresponds with their sexual parts, rather than the gender with which they most identify.
And this is not an amendment exclusive to Canada. Florida and Texas also have pending bills in the works which would denote the public restrooms trans people are allowed to use. Sound akin to any other segregation laws that existed in the U.S. decades ago?
This possible amendment came out of bill C-279 which was passed in Canada two years ago, but has been sitting in senators’ laps ever since who seem to do nothing by try and shoot it down. The bill was originally intended to make gender identity a protected class under human rights law. However, conservative senators, like Senator Don Plett, appear to be throwing a proverbial wrench into it with this amendment, which would force trans people to use public places like prisons, crisis centers, changing rooms and restrooms that correlate to the sex with which they were born, rather than their sexual identity.
One example these conservative senators gave for why this provision is necessary is so short-sighted it makes me sick. They said, if someone identifies as a woman, but is still physically a man, they could be threatening to women seeking shelter from abusive men in public restrooms. To which I say — Come. On.
Carnes was equally outraged by the implications of this amendment, and took to posting selfies of herself in men’s rooms to make this point — she looks ridiculous in there, because she clearly identifies as female.
And a hot female at that! But this is what she, and anyone else who identifies as a different gender from their original sex, would have to endure if the bill plus amendment passes. “I’m giving them what they want,” she told the Independent. “I’m actively showing them what it would look like if that became law and how completely ridiculous it is. It’s just not right.”
Another reason Senator Plett gave for why this amendment is necessary is because the bill alone “allows for pedophiles to take advantage of legislation that we have in place.” However, Brae had a perfect rebuttal for this comment as well:
The fact that a bill which was originally created to protect trans people may actually end up making them less safe is irony far too cruel for me to comprehend.
Richard Garrison, the creator of bill C-279 (sans amendment) is outraged by what he feels the Senators are trying to do to it. He told CBC, “I believe that there’s a small group of senators who are trying to kill the bill, and the Senate conservative leadership is allowing them to do so.” Sadly, it’s not the first time the Senate has gotten in the way of important, societal steps forward, and it definitely won’t be the last. But as long as people like Carnes continue to battle such blatant discrimination out on public forums like Facebook, and show the world how absurd our lawmakers are being, the chances of actual positive change happening are much higher. And just to drive home how much power a picture can have, here are some more awesome selfies of Brae in men’s rooms. If you connect to their message, spread them around, because they speak pretty loud.