Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Boosted on Telemundo

A report on the violence that erupted at a Los Angeles school that provided a gender neutral bathroom dripped with bias as told by Telemundo, with the NBC-sister network featuring three officials, activists and students in favor, and only one opponent of the measure.

Footage of a brawl between supporters and opponents of the facility kicked off the report. The fight started when a student tackled a protester that was against the new bathroom. That fact never made it to Telemundo's report. 

A school counselor and a trans rights activist were paraded as the report’s experts, giving them ample time to praise the measure. The report also highlighted Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s stated commitment to protect the LGBTQ community. After spending 2 minutes and 6 seconds on the pro gender-neutral side, they then tacked on five seconds of the opposing voice of a concerned parent at the end.

JUAN JOSE MENDEZ, REPORTER, TELEMUNDO: While sympathizers show support to the transgender community, there are those who are against the neutral bathrooms.

MAYRA REYES, MOTHER: Many that aren't gay are going to use that excuse, they get in and they can rape a girl.

No matter how much supporters of the measure agree with the move, it's not like Mayra Reyes' concerns are unfounded. Recently a man at Macy's in Palmdale, CA disguised as a woman, recorded hours of video at a mall restroom.

The confrontation comes on the heels of recent moves by North Carolina requiring gender-specific bathrooms at public places. Opposition to the North Carolina measure has been highlighted by Telemundo, as well as rival Univision, in similarly skewed fashion.

The transcript of the report aired on Noticiero Telemundo on the night of April 20 can be found below:



6:39:26 PM – 6:41:38 PM EST | 2 MIN 11 SEC

MARIA CELESTE ARRARAS, CO-HOST, TELEMUNDO: The installation of bathrooms for gay and transgender students at a school in the city of Los Angeles has angered many in the community. And as Juan Jose Mendez says in the next report, a group of demonstrators faced beatings with students about this issue that has generated much controversy nationwide.

JUAN JOSE MENDEZ, REPORTER, TELEMUNDO: All came down to a battle between a group protesting against gender neutral bathrooms in Santee High School in Los Angeles, and as seen in the video some students participated in the brawl. Today young people and their parents received a briefing on what happened.

LESLIE RIVERA, STUDENT: We all have our own opinions, but that doesn’t have to lead to violence.

JUAN JOSE MENDEZ, REPORTER, TELEMUNDO: In the last two months more than 600 signatures were gathered at the school for administrators to agree to open a bathroom for sexual diversity. The school counselor justifies the reason for the neutral bathroom.

JOSE LARA, COUNSELOR: We create a different space where students that feel comfortable to enter that bathroom can do it, it’s something progressive, something forward, something that is coming.

JUAN JOSE MENDEZ, REPORTER, TELEMUNDO: The transgender community ensures that creating these neutral bathrooms is to keep the safety and avoid harassment of students.

SANDRA ESQUEDA, BIENESTAR ORGANIZATION: The trans community is suffering much bullying in schools, need to do much emphasis on the question of acceptance, for more than anything the safety of the members of the trans community.

JUAN JOSE MENDEZ, REPORTER, TELEMUNDO: The issue has generated controversy throughout the country since a law requiring transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they were born was approved in North Carolina. And while supporters show their support for the transgender community there are those who are against neutral bathrooms.

MAYRA REYES, MOTHER: Many that aren't gay are going to use that excuse, they get in and they can rape a girl.

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