Since big box store Target affirmed its support of transgender people last week by explicitly encouraging employees and guests to use the bathroom that comports with their gender identity, the anti-LGBTQ right has been busy gnashing their teeth and rending their Mossimo-brand garments. The American Family Association has a boycott pledge going with almost 900,000 signatures at the time of writing, and, on Tuesday, right-wing site Breitbart posted a very clever roundup of alleged sexual assaults in Target stores to demonstrate the danger of the company’s trans-inclusive policy. The 20 incident descriptions are truly harrowing, and one hopes that the victims find the appropriate justice.
But there’s one glaring problem: According to the cited reports, none of the alleged assailants were trans people.
For anyone who’s looked into the data behind the trans bathroom predator myth currently gripping our nation, this won’t come as a surprise. There are no confirmed, true cases of trans women (or men) accosting anyone in public restrooms. (If anything, it’s trans folks who live in fear of being attacked or bullied in those spaces, among many others.) Indeed, as the Breitbart post so helpfully demonstrates, it is cisgender men who we should all be fearing in the loo—and, contra the gross fearmongering about “men in dresses” out to get “little girls,” this sampling of cases shows that real predators are fairly equal opportunity in terms of the gender of their victims.
Moreover, though it’s been said many times before, let’s say it again: Assaulting people in the bathroom is already illegal, and if a cis man (or anyone!) wants to put on a dress to do it in Target or anywhere else, he should be appropriately dealt with by law enforcement. Ensuring that trans people have the baseline protection of being able to relieve themselves with dignity will do nothing to change that. It will only make a group of people who face a general onslaught of discrimination throughout their lives feel a tiny bit more secure.