March 31, 2016 at 10:53 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Predictions of trans bathroom harassment unfounded
Cathy Lanier, MPD, Metropolitan Police Department, gay news, Washington Blade, bathroom harassment

‘I’m not aware of any police-related cases — none,’ said D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier when asked about predictions of harassment in restrooms following enactment of anti-bias laws. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The North Carolina Legislature created an uproar among LGBT rights advocates and prominent business leaders in March when it passed a controversial law prohibiting local jurisdictions in the state from enacting non-discrimination measures protecting LGBT people.

Many supporters of the law said it was necessary because measures protecting transgender people from discrimination would allow men to use women’s bathrooms and subject women to potential harassment and sexual assaults.

This week Police Chief Cathy Lanier of D.C. and law enforcement officials in Maryland – both of which have laws banning discrimination against transgender people – said they could not identify a single case in which a transgender person has been charged with assaulting or harassing women in a public bathroom.

“I’m not aware of any police-related cases — none,” said Lanier when asked by the Washington Blade if D.C. police have been called to public bathrooms because of threats against women by a transgender person.

Assistant D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham, who was with Lanier when she commented on the issue at a police news conference on Tuesday, said he too was unaware of that type of bathroom-related issue.

“If something like that would have occurred in all likelihood I would have been notified,” he said. “But I have not heard of anything like that. So that’s not clearly an issue in the District.”

In Maryland, police or law enforcement spokespersons for the state’s three largest population centers — Baltimore City, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County — each said they also were unaware of instances of transgender harassment or assaults on women in public bathrooms.

Like D.C., which passed a transgender non-discrimination law in 2006, Maryland passed such a law in 2014. Montgomery County passed its own transgender non-discrimination law in 2008.

Det. Nicole Monroe, a public information officer with the Baltimore Police Department, said no reports of transgender harassment or other problems in public bathrooms have come to her attention since Maryland adopted its trans non-discrimination law.

“Where is this coming from?” she asked. “Just because you’re transitioning doesn’t make you a rapist. You go in your stall and you do your thing,” she said. “It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”

Added Monroe, who is a 22-year veteran on the Baltimore police force: “I mean you have to worry wherever you go now. But not from somebody using the bathroom that’s transitioning. That has nothing to do with your safety. I’m more concerned in going to the bathroom about somebody reaching under and trying to snatch my purse.”

Montgomery County police spokesperson Rick Goodale said he would arrange for a search of various police records to confirm whether or not transgender-related offenses have taken place in women’s bathrooms.

“Just off hand, I don’t know of any specific incidents in recent memory that we’ve had on complaints like that,” he said. “We have duty commanders that work after hours and they file reports every night about incidents that happen in the county. And I don’t remember any reports about anything like that.”

Ramon Korionoff, public affairs director for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, which is in charge of prosecuting criminal cases, said he checked with people in his office that would be familiar with bathroom-related offenses.

“The people who would have some historical knowledge cannot remember anything of the sort,” he said.

Officer Tyler Hunter, a Prince George’s County police spokesperson, said he also checked with department officials and no cases of public bathroom related problems involving transgender people could be found.

In Delaware, which passed a transgender non-discrimination bill in 2013, the LGBT-friendly beach resort town of Rehoboth Beach has not had any issue or problem related to public bathrooms and transgender people, according to Rehoboth Police Chief Keith Banks.

“We’ve had no concerns on this and no complaints have been made, and we have observed none,” Banks told the Blade on Wednesday. “We’re a diverse community and we’ve just had no issue, no encounters of that nature,” he said.

Spokespersons for the police departments in San Francisco and Los Angeles said they weren’t aware of trans-related bathroom problems but they would need to check police records to provide a definitive answer on the matter. California’s statewide Unruh Civil Rights Act bans discrimination against trans people as well as gays and lesbians.

In New York City, an NYPD spokesperson said he too was unaware of transgender-related problems in public bathrooms but would have to also arrange for a check of police records to confirm whether or not such problems have occurred.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • So, lower levels of problems than any other group. zero reports in several of the largest cities over decades. Several assaults of trans women in rest rooms by cisgender people.

    Cisgender people have to start proving they’re not going to assault people in women’s rest rooms.

  • There was a report of a transgender woman raped in the restroom of the Stonewall Inn last week. But, there are no credible reports of any cisgender women ever being raped in any public restroom anywhere in this country.

  • Why is it always oily, perverse, sexuality-oozing, portly, pedophilish right wing cranky old men who think trans people choose where they p*e and sh*t is based on something sexual? I’d be more worried about some closet creep like Huckabee trying to get the c*ck in a public restroom than a trans individual

  • Send this information to North Carolina, McCrory needs to be caved in.

    • Moreover, Mayor Bower ought be standing with all LGBTs regarding NC.

      Mayor Bowser is *STILL* ignoring NC’s anti-LGBT hate law– while other states and cities ban their employees’ travel to NC… including CT, NY, VT, WA and the cities of Boston, Chicago, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, West Pam Beach.

      So why is the mayor of the Nation’s Capital, Muriel Bowser, not standing by the nation’s LGBTs in an hour of peril for LGBT civil rights laws– and in a state so nearby to DC?

      Why can’t DC be just as responsive as Chicago’s?


      • Good question! Mayor Bowser needs to speak out against NC’s discrimination against LGBTs. We need Patricia McCrory to cave! :>)

        • For sure. Vince Gray would have been on top of this. Fenty and Williams, too.

          It is beyond disappointing that in a capital city, with a very high LGBT population, Mayor Bowser has the opportunity to impact LGBT civil rights– in NC’s hate state and nationwide, and for all time– but does not seize the opportunity to do so.

          It is inexplicable and embarrassing for our city… for NINE days and counting, now.

  • There have been more Republican legislators arrested for sexual misconduct in restrooms than there have been Trans people.

    • This fixation on Republicans: you realize Caitlyn Jenner is a rightwing Ted Cruz supporter? The Rick Santorum -the guy santorum is named after – affirms transgenderism.

      Grow up. This isn’t one of those things where you can turn your mind off and root for the home team.

      • Rick Santorum Rails Against ‘Dangerous’ Rights For Transgender Youth
        SUBMITTED BY Brian Tashman on Wednesday, 11/4/2015 11:20 am
        Yesterday on “The Steve Malzberg Show,” Rick Santorum offered his opinion on the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which was successfully repealed yesterday, and a case in Illinois where the Department of Education sided with a transgender girl who accused her public school of carrying out discriminatory policies.

        Santorum, naturally, is not a fan of protections for trans youth, which he labeled as “dangerous.”

        Just discussing the issue of transgender youth in schools, Santorum said, would harm kids: “I don’t know why children at that age — why this is even an issue, the idea that we are introducing this type of real dangerous confusion for young people at this early age, do we really care about what we’re doing to millions of children who don’t have gender confusion and basically introducing the subject and saying, ‘maybe you should, maybe this is something you should start thinking about at age seven.’ I mean this is really dangerous and it’s going too far because it is having an impact on not just folks who may be in a difficult situation at an early age but many who would never have been in that situation but now are being confronted with it.”


        PEOPLE:Rick Santorum, Steve Malzberg
        – See more at:

        • From CBS News, 5/2/2015

          Former Pennsylvania senator and potential Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said that he believes Bruce Jenner — a former Olympic athlete who recently came out on national television as transgender — is a woman.

          “If he says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman,” Santorum said to reporters Saturday at the South Carolina Republican convention. “My responsibility as a human being is to love and accept everybody. Not to criticize people for who they are.”

          But, yea. That was before transgenderists started hammering public schools with bathroom lawsuits. Thanks for illuminating the timeline of how this unfolded.

          • So – he supports trans people by saying they exist – but denying them rights? Just like he supports gay people then?

          • It’s true. When people demand their rights – bigots backlash and blame the victims for the backlash.

            I’m so old. I remember this happening in the W election with gay marriage. Except it was a gay guy who came up with that plan. He apparently has spiritual children.

          • What rights are you referring to? Like name them. I want to see you type out something idiotic like “A man has a constitutional right to be a woman”.

          • You can’t even say the phrase correctly – An American citizen has the right to resolve their own gender identity and gender attraction as no one else can. All of the negative religious hoopla preached to civilization is the main cause of our conflicts, just look at the middle east terrorism and the Westboro Baptist Church.

          • No action has been taken which denies any individual the right to resolve their own gender identity issues.

            The Charlotte law which HB2 sought to remediate imposed, under penalty of law, a mandate to affirm other people’s subjective self-definitions of gender.

      • I guess you weren’t paying attention as I am not the one who arrested the Republican legislators. I say Dump the Trump and lose the Cruz! And for Rick Sanitarium, he dropped out of the race along time ago.

  • ******UPDATE*******

    **Bowser Bans Official Travel to North Carolina for D.C. Government Employees**
    Bowser’s order, “effective immediately,” notes that “ensuring individuals freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is a compelling government interest.” It adds that “the laws and policies of the District of Columbia should support the values of inclusiveness and respect for all.”**

  • You definitely shouldn’t be allowed around little boys in the rest room. Millions of little boys have been abused by men.

    • The funny thing about the untoward insinuation there is that it may be recognized as bigotry in coming years.

      • I’m not waiting for some dudes.

          • I’m calling them bigots now.

          • Opponents of pedophilia? You made a – let’s call it – ‘pedophobic’ remark to the effect that I shouldn’t be trusted in restrooms with young boys. Which was cute, but I wonder if you’re aware that all of the claims made toward the medical legitimacy of transgenderism can be exactly transposed to pedophilia.

            But aparently you got lost somewhere in the conversation.

          • Homophobic and pedophilia are harmful to others because they force their uncontrollable sexual misconduct on others. LGBTs, straights, etc. are simply human beings that live like everyone elso.

          • Isn’t it a bit bigoted to deny the experience of preadolescents, who medical professionals agree are quite capable of determining their own gender identity, by denying their capability to also choose with whom they desire intimate contact?

          • You’re creepy. I wouldn’t want you in any bathroom( or any room for that matter) with any of my children.

          • Pedophibic would be fear or animus towards pedophiles – I don’t have a problem with that.

            And yes – Statistically, you are more likely to be a threat to kids than a trans person. I can see that you find it upsetting when your slur is transposed back upon you. Rather accurately transposed. Cisgender dudes are responsible for the overwhelming majority of all types of violence in this world. Including that visited upon children.

          • You are correct that violent and sexual assault are strongly correlated with men. Almost exclusively so.

            An ugly fact, however, is that ‘transwomen’ commit acts of violent and sexual assault at an identical rate as men:

            “Second, regarding any crime, male-to-females had a significantly increased risk for crime compared to female controls (aHR 6.6; 95% CI 4.1–10.8) but not compared to males (aHR 0.8; 95% CI 0.5–1.2). This indicates that they retained a male pattern regarding criminality. The same was true regarding violent crime.”

            As for the other thing, I’m relieved to hear you’re against pedophilia for now. I just hope that ten years from now you don’t regret having been ‘on the wrong side of history’ with regard to pedophilia. I hope there’s a line somewhere which society wont be dragged across.

          • A. Your link doesn’t work.
            B. The author of the study repudiates your statements about what the study shows. She states that trans women don’t have a level of violence that differs from cis women.
            C. You’re obviously more suspect around children as a man.

            Dhejne: The individual in the image who is making claims about trans criminality, specifically rape likelihood, is misrepresenting the study findings. The study as a whole covers the period between 1973 and 2003. If one divides the cohort into two groups, 1973 to 1988 and 1989 to 2003, one observes that for the latter group (1989 – 2003), differences in mortality, suicide attempts and crime disappear. This means that for the 1989 to 2003 group, we did not find a male pattern of criminality.

            As to the criminality metric itself, we were measuring and comparing the total number of convictions, not conviction type. We were not saying that cisgender males are convicted of crimes associated with marginalization and poverty. We didn’t control for that and we were certainly not saying that we found that trans women were a rape risk. What we were saying was that for the 1973 to 1988 cohort group and the cisgender male group, both experienced similar rates of convictions. As I said, this pattern is not observed in the 1989 to 2003 cohort group.

            The difference we observed between the 1989 to 2003 cohort and the control group is that the trans cohort group accessed more mental health care, which is appropriate given the level of ongoing discrimination the group faces. What the data tells us is that things are getting measurably better and the issues we found affecting the 1973 to 1988 cohort group likely reflects a time when trans health and psychological care was less effective and social stigma was far worse.

            There you have it. To be clear:

            No, the study does not show that medical transition results in suicide or suicidal ideation. The study explicitly states that such is not the case and those using this study to make that claim are using fallacious logic.
            No, the study does not prove that trans women are rapists or likely to be rapists. The “male pattern of criminality” found in the 1973 to 1988 cohort group was not a euphemism for rape.
            No, the study does not prove that trans women exhibit male socialization. The “male pattern of criminality” found in the 1973 to 1988 cohort group was not a claim that trans women were convicted of the same types of crime as cis men.

          • I’m on the right side of the pedophilia question & will be in the future. The right side is that cis men are a greater risk to kids than all others. Your people are the problem.

  • It’s good to have a hobby.

  • I was of course referring to your hobby of paying inordinate amount of attention to what other people do in the bathroom, in case it slipped by you.

    • Ah. I thought you meant the hobbies listed. Not for me, but I guess we’re supposed to assign civil rights to people’s kinky fetish BS now.

      • People wishing for freedom of the slaves, freedom to marry anyone they wished, freedom to get an education, etc., prior to the US Civil War was considered by slaveholders mostly a Northern “people’s kinky fetish BS. . . .”

        Until SCOTUS ruled, many people in the South (and some Northerners) considered separate as equal.

        Until Congress acted, many people in the South (and some Northerners) thought they could exclude African-Americans from lunch counters, etc.

        They are attempting to do the same to the GLBT community now.

      • Wrong again, but keep trying.

  • Why do conservative women play this game of “oh my God someone might attack me”? No one wants their saggy old hag azzes. No trans person in their right mind has time to even look at those nasty old hags peeing. I mean really who cares!?

  • Just not true. Google and you will find that these bills are starting to cause problems with safety for women.

  • Wondering if you are a predator? Women and children’s safety is not a “pressing issue?” Don’t need bathroom cheerleaders? Smug arrogance. These laws have just been passed and there are already a dozen examples of abuses that have resulted.

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