The war on North Carolina is a long, slow quagmire, with no exit strategy…apparently.
At least that’s the impression for the unfortunate, and hopefully few, who watch TLC’s I Am Jazz on a regular basis. On Wednesday night’s episode, titled ‘Teenage Angst and Broken Hearts,’ Jazz and his friend Noelle, who is also under the delusion that he’s a female, went to a donut shop that bore a special message for those from the Tarheel State:
Noelle: It's gourmet doughnuts -- best doughnuts you've ever had.
Jazz: I'm always starving, so that's good.
Noelle: But there's another reason why I like this place. You'll see.
Jazz: Noelle is taking me to her favorite doughnut shop, and I'm kind of excited. I love, love, love, love, love, love, love doughnuts. I'm so excited! Okay. It's nothing -- where are you going, Noelle?
Noelle: No, the surprise is not doughnuts. Wait, what?
Jazz: Noelle is ushering me to the back of the doughnut shop, and I'm like, "Noelle, you're going the wrong way! The doughnuts are over here! What are you doing?"
Noelle: It's nothing big, but it's just I noticed it, like, the second or third time I came in, 'cause I don't use the restroom a lot for obvious reasons.
Jazz: That's so awesome! I'll have to come here more often now.
Noelle: You know what's going on, right?
Jazz: Yeah, of course. Seeing states like North Carolina enacting these bathroom bills that are banning transgender individuals from using the restrooms that they identify as -- it's complete discrimination, and I feel like we're going the wrong way in terms of progress.
Noelle: Everyone I talk to, they'll be, like, ranting on and on about how they're, like, "Oh, my god. If we allow trans people in the bathroom, then there are gonna be, like, pedophiles who, like, prey on women." And I'm like, "When has that ever happened?"
Jazz: Where this is no problem, people are causing a problem. I know. I know me personally, I've had issues with the bathroom in the past. I wasn't allowed to use the girl's bathroom at my elementary school. I had to use the nurse's restroom, and it was just disgusting. Kids were vomiting -- everything.
Noelle: I'm 100% allowed to use the girl's restroom, but I'm not aware of how much I pass, and I have had some people come up to me and be like, "If a trans girl ever walks into the girl's bathroom, I will beat her down." 'Cause they -- there are people at school who are like, "Oh, my god. Noelle is a pervert."
Jazz: Do you ever have to hold it in?
Jazz: That's -- you shouldn't do that.
Noelle: It's very sad to see that the country is divided between people who don't think trans people should be allowed in some public spaces and people who do. It does start a very violent dialogue that does create a lot of disdain towards trans people, which I am unfortunately experiencing.
When has a male ever claimed to be transgender in order to enter a women’s bathroom and prey on women? Well, it happened in March of 2014 in Toronto. And earlier this month in Idaho a transgender was arrested for violating the privacy of women in the dressing room of a Target store. While we’re questioning things that supposedly never happened: when was the last time a transgender girl was “beaten down” by people to keep him out of the bathroom? As Jazz’s friend alleges here?
But, no matter. The State of North Carolina lived up to their hard-fighting, Tarheel nickname and defended their bathroom law by spurning the NBA and their $100 million dollar All-Star game. I don’t think TLC’s homemade, donut shop protest will fare any better.