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Here’s why this common argument about trans men in bathrooms does more harm than good

It’s a go-to move for would-be allies to trans folks: When someone says trans men should use the bathroom of the gender they were assigned at birth, they post a picture of an especially masculine trans man and ask, “Would you really want this person in the women’s bathroom?”

It’s meant to be a “gotcha” moment, but what does it actually imply about trans men? 

A trans man on X named Dominick (@transguyenergy) gave his thoughts on the issue, sparking a fresh round of discourse.

“I want it to be known that I do NOT want my photos used as a gotcha for the trans bathroom debate,” Dominick wrote. “There’s something about captioning a photo of a trans man with ‘you want THIS person sharing a bathroom with women?!’ that feels extremely unhelpful and even plays into the ‘trans people are predatory’ rhetoric. Please don’t do that to me.”

Dominick also referenced the case of Noah Ruiz, a trans man who was assaulted by a crowd after using the women’s restroom at a campground at the campground owner’s recommendation. “This can have severe impacts for trans men,” Dominick wrote.

Plenty of other trans folks related to Dominick’s feelings, with several pointing out that using their photos without consent puts trans men in danger of discrimination.

“Genuinely wild to me that people do that. As if trans men aren’t also in danger of getting assaulted in the bathroom like?” wrote one commenter.

Others pointed to the negative stereotypes it perpetuates, including that trans people are predatory in bathrooms.

One person specifically called for wannabe allies to stop using pictures of model and actor Laith Ashley, who’s often a go-to given his fame and reputation as a heartthrob.

As one user put it, “I’d rather people not bring our pictures into ANYTHING without our consent, especially when it involves arguing with transphobes. That puts us in danger.”

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