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caption: Danni Askini, the executive director of the Gender Justice League.
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Danni Askini, the executive director of the Gender Justice League.
Credit: Courtesy of Danielle Askini

It’s Not About Trans People (But Keep Bathrooms Separated), Lawmaker Says

Rep. Graham Hunt of Orting doesn’t want to see a naked lady in the locker room.

“If I'm in the restroom, or I'm in the locker room, and I'm changing, and I turn around and there's a woman standing there completely naked, and she has different parts than I do – how is that OK?” he told KUOW’s Bill Radke.

Hunt said he wants to change a new state rule that allows transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice. Hunt said his opposition isn’t about trans people – but about others who might exploit the law.

“There are folks that would take advantage of this law and utilize it in terms of voyeurism,” he said.

The state Human Rights Commission approved the rule in November, but trans activists say this law has been on the books since 2006.

“There are thousands of transgender people around the state right now who are using bathrooms in locker rooms consistent with their gender identity,” said Danni Askini, executive director of the Gender Justice League. “Largely without any incident or increased concerns about public safety.”

Hunt said he didn’t like that the person made uncomfortable would have to leave the bathroom.

“That to me creates an issue in terms of equality of rights, and we haven't addressed that appropriately,” he said.

He’s working on policy that would allow public and private entities to keep bathrooms separate by genitalia.

“If you have male parts in terms of genitalia then you should be using the men's room. If you have female parts, then you should be using the females',” Hunt said. “If you’re post-operative … that’s not an issue.”

Askini said Hunt’s proposed law would strip trans people of rights they currently enjoy.

“I'm a transgender woman,” she said. “If I was forced to use a men's locker room, I would be incredibly unsafe. Your listeners can't see me, but I think that they would also be uncomfortable with the idea of me being forced into a men's room.

“It would expose transgender people to even more targeting and more violence than we already face,” she said.