Trans Nursing Student Threatened With Expulsion For Using Restroom

Alex WilsonAlex Wilson is a trans woman studying to become a nurse, and who is currently taking classes at Pinellas Technical Education Center in Clearwater, FL. All that could potentially change, however, should she choose to use the restroom located in the same building as her classroom. Instead, she must travel to the administration building, and use a one-person restroom in what she calls a "a closet". If not, the school has threatened to press charges and to throw her out of the program. 

Previously, Wilson had chosen to use the women's restroom closest to her classroom. That unfortunately changed when another student took it upon herself to complain to administrators. She was subsequently pulled out of class and told that "if I continue to use the female restroom that I would have charges pressed against me. And that because of that I would be removed from the program as a nurse.” When asked to describe her new "private" restroom, Wilson told WFLA News Channel 8, "It's a small restroom in, what looks like a storage part of the administration building. There's some cabinets, cleaning supplies."

Melanie Marquez Parra, a spokeswoman from Pinellas schools has told the press that they are looking into the issue to better understand exactly what took place and whether school officials could have handles the situation differently. 

“In a scenario such as the one you’re describing , a person will be offered access to a private restroom. And that’s for the individual’s privacy and for the privacy of other students." 

ThinkProgress noted that, had the school simply offered the private restroom as an alternative, rather than issue an ultimatum, such action "would actually be commendable." They went on to explain that "there are some trans and gender nonconforming people who feel safest when they can access a private single-use facility." It is unclear as to which restroom Wilson would prefer to use, if given the choice. It is also uncelar exactly how her presence in the women's restroom could potentially impact the privacy of other students. 

Unfortunately, Equality Florida notes, there is no statewide statute that protects trans people like Wilson from this sort of discrimination. 

Comments

  1. Rick says

    Why are we discussing Transsexual issues on this site? Why do Liberals think that Transsexuals are a part of the LGBT community. Transsexual people are mentally unbalanced and contribute nothing to the gay community. Trans activists have often attacked proud, masculine gay men and actively fought against rights for the gay community. This is because Trans people resent the natural masculine confidence of gay men. Do not give Trans activists a podium on this site. This is simply a man in a dress, regardless of what he wants us to think. HE is using the women’s restroom. Of course someone would complain, because that’s disgusting and wrong. Help this man by encouraging him to see therapy, not allowing him to carry on with this lie.

  2. says

    Everyone should check out Ontario’s Bill-33 “Toby’s Act”

    it’s a wonderful piece of legislation, and should be the model for how gender-identity and gender-expression should be protected, all over.

    there’s a remarkable strength and resilience that our trans brothers and sisters embody, that a great many gay people would do well to replicate. and we have an obligation as decent human beings to stand in solidarity and support with them.

    the good news is that Out and Empowered gay people do this, as do a great many of our straight allies.

    for all the hatred that pops up online whenever Trans stories are covered, take solace; it’s coming from the Anonymous Trolls With Nothing To Offer.

    yes, what they type is stupid, ignorant and hateful.

    but their hatred exists only in online forums. these fools haven’t got it in them to say these things In Real Life.

    so take it for what it is: the furious emasculated ramblings of insecure men who resent the strength in trans people that they’ll never know themselves.

  3. Rick says

    Daniel Berry, NYC: this is not “Rick” (aka Little Kiwi). This is the real Rick. And I wish you would stop making light of this issue. One of the reasons ENDA will not pass in the Legislature is because of the inclusion of gender identity, a population of mentally damaged individuals that will ultimately hold back the progress of Gay rights in this country. It’s bad enough these people literally hate gay men, but now the granting of our rights will be held back by these mentally deficient freaks. Perhaps if Liberals recognized the inherent homophobia of women, whether they be real or “trans” (fake), and the homophobia of trans activists and learned to respect masculinity, perhaps gay men could shake off the culture of effeminacy that has long plagued us and get our equal rights.

  4. says

    like i said, the hate only comes from pathetic insecure closeted cowards like “RICK”

    why’s he angry? because that trans woman is Out and he’s not.

    he’s angry. he’s bitter. he’s jealous. but he’ll die alone in his closet, and doesn’t have the balls to say any of his nonsense in a place of visibility.

    so it’s ok.

  5. says

    @ripper – ever see that 1980s horror film “The Stepfather”?

    psychopathic man changes identities and marries into new families, kills them, moves onto the next eventually gets confused, asking “who am i here?”

    i think that’s what’s happening to our resident Troll. his fabricated worlds are colliding and falling apart. oh darn.

  6. GregV says

    What seems ridiculous to me is that they did not go with the obvious solution: Offer directions to the private restroom to the busybody who was the one who was uncomfortable in the shared space.
    If she had said that a redhead is in her class and she uncomfortable with redheads, would the person with red hair be asked to change classes or would the option be for the prejudiced one to move herself if she can’t share space with different kinds of people?

    That should be the solution offered on every campus: Have a one-stall, one-person bathroom available somewhere, and redirect the person who is “uncomfortable” around others to it, whether its a trans person who feels embarrassed, a person who doesn’t like trans people, a person who has severe body shame or whatever the reason.

  7. says

    exactly, Greg.

    what’s ridiculous as well is that by the logic of the Ignorant Bigots, they want a person to use the bathroom of the “birth-certificate sex”, or something.

    UH…ok. see how much you demand that when you’re presented with a Transperson that you can’t “tell” is Trans and maks you think they’re in the “wrong bathroom” when in fact they’re in the one your lame @ss demanded they use.

    it’s such nonsense.

  8. Onnyjay says

    Rick is probably the current governor of Flarda, a real divide-and-conquer nutcase. Score several for the morons in charge: after inflicting various members of the B*sh Crime Family on the state and nation, they installed an “out” psychopath, and the mistreatment of trans people is just one result. Alex, be glad they didn’t feed you to the gators, and flee the south, there’s nothing there for anybody but beer-sucking conservatard good-ol-boys and their wimminfolk.

  9. Mousie says

    “Why do Liberals think that Transsexuals are a part of the LGBT community.”

    I dunno, maybe it’s the T in LGBT that’s confusing everyone.

  10. Oliver/UK says

    I support her in using whatever bathroom she wants. Personally, I don’t care who goes where.

    But this has nothing to do with being gay, lesbian or bisexual. This linking of being gay with being a transsexual is offensive and wrong. It is a stereotype that we have been fighting for so many years. Yes to trans rights, no to LGBT.

  11. Derrick from Philly says

    “…why don’t you apply to be the spokesman for Propecia?”

    And what are you the spokesman for, Comrade Bill? The American Communist Party. With its devoted 22 members spread over 30 states…nobody under the age of 72.

  12. says

    “This linking of being gay with being a transsexual is offensive and wrong. It is a stereotype that we have been fighting for so many years. Yes to trans rights, no to LGBT.”

    Speak for yourself, @Oliver, not “we.” The reality is discrimination trans people face (based on irrational fears around gender) is very much linked to homophobia and discrimination gay people face, and many of us have no issue including trans people in our tent. And, this was covered as a trans issue, so I’m not sure why you’re upset that it might taint “our” pure gay world? (Andy can include whatever he wants on his own blog.)

    The silly upset over bathroom usage is much like the old fears about gay people bunking or showering next to straight people in the military. Phobias with the same roots.

  13. Icebloo says

    I really don’t care who uses the same bathroom as me. Why is it such a big deal ? If you want privacy use the stall !
    People are SUCH idiots !

  14. Icebloo says

    I have a couple of friends who dress in drag and I love them – they are both great people. Unfortunately I don’t have any trans friends because I rarely meet any but I am open to having trans friends and I will defend their legal rights just as strongly as I defend my own.

    Equal is not equal until it includes EVERYONE.

  15. Oliver/UK says

    Ernie,

    Why do you define yourself based on linkages that homophobes make? Homophobes also confuse gay people with paedos, so you had better start calling yourself one, I suppose.

    Here’s a better approach: define yourself by reference to reality. Live your life based on what you are, not based on what other people think you are or what linkages occur in other peopls’ minds.

    This isn’t about letting someone in our tent or maintaining purity or any such nonsense. It is about simple truth. LGB is fundamentally different than T. It is offensive and wrong to tell lies about both LBGs and Ts, such as the lie that they are all part of a single group.

  16. Tim says

    Icebloo:

    “Equal is not equal until it includes EVERYONE.”

    Why is EVERYONE limited to trans people? You don’t say that you would fight as hard for the rights of the elderly, or of the poor in Appalachia or of coal miners in West Virginia as you would for your own.

    You say that about trans people, but you leave out millions of others. I guess EVERYONE doesn’t really mean everyone.

  17. Bob says

    MY 2 CENTS:

    A– “People” like “Rick” remind me of Creoles saying they deserved better status than people who were very black.
    WHEN ALL THE QUEERS ARE PUT INTO OVENSBY THE FAR RIGHT… everybody goes, including Rick.

    B– LIFE IS NOT FAIR –a trans woman who resembles a football player is going to have a lot harder time in that school than a small Filipino in transition, because she is more threatening. She deserves to be treated well, but she will feel healthier if she allows for that

  18. says

    “Why do you define yourself based on linkages that homophobes make? Homophobes also confuse gay people with paedos, so you had better start calling yourself one, I suppose.”

    That’s a strange and illogical argument, @Oliver. I said much of the discrimination against gay people comes from same phobic place as discrimination against trans people. It has nothing to do with how I define myself or live my life. And I never said I was transgender, but neither am I bisexual or a lesbian.

    You’re also making a false equivalency between being a pedophile and being transgender. Pedophilia is a criminal act; being transgender is not. By making the association you’re using the logic of bigots.

    It’s hardly a lie to say that L, G, B, and T people have overlapping issues unless you only know gay people who strictly conform to so-called gender norms and who’ve never been discriminated against on the basis of gender identity. Putting LGBT together also hardly implies that our issue are all identical, but that’s true of lesbians and gay men and bisexuals, too.

  19. ArkArk says

    Oh yes there is Rick spreading disinformation. Rick is yet another example of human filth spreading lies on Towleroad because Towleroad thinks it is fine and dandy. Rick, you should join the evangelical party of straight people — it is what you long to be. You really should, you would feel right at home. You sound like an isolated, unfortunate human being.

  20. Hilda says

    Trans people are not part of the gay community. In fact, they are the opposite. Gay people come to terms with how they were born. Trans people wish to DENY and CHANGE how they were born.

    If you have XY chromosomes, a penis and testicles, you are a male. If your brain tells you you are a female, the problem is in your brain, not your body. And having a psychological need to amputate a natural and healthy body part is obviously a manifestation of mental illness.

    Surgery does not turn a male into a female. It turns him into a male who has had surgery. A castrated male with a surgically created hole is not a female. And a real vagina is far more than a hole.

  21. andrew says

    A lot of the posters on this site would benefit from reading: “Warrior Princess” the true life story of a 20 year veteran of the Navy Seals who identifies and now lives as a woman.

  22. says

    @Hilda: You seem not to understand the difference between biological sex and gender. If you did, you would also understand that the same argument can and is used to deny gay people rights: because gay people’s brains tell them they aren’t as nature intended–which is to reproduce with the opposite sex–we’re not fulfilling our biological destiny. Furthermore, you focus on surgery, when many T people don’t have surgery, and you leave out that some transgender people are also gay.

    Not all gay people wish to be part of the LGBT community. And not all transgender people want to be part of the LGBT community. Everyone has the freedom to identify with whatever community they want to identify with. But, like it or not, discrimination against gay people is often if not usually gender discrimination, the prejudice coming from the same narrow mindset.

  23. Oliver/UK says

    Ernie, it is your logic that is failing. I am not equating transgender with paedophilia. *You* are positing that when homophobes link gays with some other group, that justifies our linking ourselves to that same group, i.e., homophobes see gays as gender conformists and see transgenders as gay, therefore gays and transgenders should join together and define themselves as one group.

    That is flawed thinking. My point was that there are plenty of homophobes who equate gays with paedos, but you won’t follow your logic to its natural conclusion. Instead, you introduce a previously unmentioned exception. Well, you say, paedophilia is illegal, so we don’t have to lump ourselves with paedos.

    So now gay identity depends on not one but two factors entirely in the hands of others 1) which other groups homophobes may link us with, and 2) the legal status of those other groups may be. You may have heard that homophobes link us to fornicators, and fornication is legal, so then should we add an F and conform our identity accordingly? For that matter, it is not even true that the mental disorder of paedophilia is illegal, only the sexual acts are. So will we need to add a P and an F? Then there’s all the other things we are linked to by various homophobes: florists, interior designers, figure skaters, adulterers, various fetishes, paganism, satanism, communism, Nazism, and liberalism. With the exception of adultery, all of these are legal. Do all these get letters too? Or are there still more exceptions for you to introduce?

    No, sir. There is no logic to LGBT. It is ideological fiat at work. Some queer academics in the late 1990s decided that LGB needed to be lumped in with T and it was picked up by the activist community and implemented without thought or discussion.

    As for overlapping issues with Ts, that may be true. But we also have overlapping issues with immigrant groups, organized labor, the hetero HIV community, African Americans, and women’s groups, to name but a few. We are allies with these folks. We don’t create a fiction that we are “one people” with all of these groups.

    Why is LGB logically justifiable when LGBT is not? Because L, and G and B all share a common *inherent* trait – same-sex attraction. That is a truth that doesn’t depend upon the beliefs and misconceptions and stereotypes held by straights or homophobes. It doesn’t depend upon the ever-shifting roster of potentially overlapping political issues. It doesn’t depend upon any group’s legal status. It is a common bond that derives from ourselves, from our nature. That does not exist with Ts, who are not defined by sexual orientation, and who in fact are mostly heterosexual.

    You lead a nice, privileged life out there in Vermont. It looks lovely. Once in a while, you should think outside your bubble and ask yourself if there are consequences for vulnerable LGB youth when you tell them that they are something that they aren’t.

  24. says

    “*You* are positing that when homophobes link gays with some other group, that justifies our linking ourselves to that same group”

    Not what I said at all, Oliver. What homophobes think has nothing to do with it. T is included with LGB because many LGB people see commonality with transgender people and stand with them as part of our larger community. Other people, like yourself, don’t think T belongs with LGB–difference of opinion. (If attitudes like yours prevail, then I expect T will be dropped.) This post wasn’t really about LGB anyway, it was about T. Some people even seemed to object that it was included on Towleroad at all since T is so so so different from LGB, never mind that gay people are also excluded from bathrooms because of gender presentation.

    In my experience (which isn’t particularly privileged and extends beyond the “bubble” of VT), LGB youth are very in favor of including T as part of their community. They would find it strange not to. Your experience of youths in the UK may be different.

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