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(52,100 posts)
Thu Apr 11, 2024, 12:57 PM Apr 2024

Florida's Anti-Trans Bathroom Law Spurs Harrowing Vigilante Attacks


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Rajee Narinesingh was dining at a Florida restaurant with friends in October when a woman stopped her in the women’s bathroom and told her to leave.

“You don’t belong in this bathroom,” she said. “You need to get out.” Narinesingh told The Daily Beast that the other diner looked at her like she was the “scum of the earth.” “If looks could kill, I’d be 18 feet under the ground,” she said.

The two of them were alone in the bathroom, and Narinesingh feared the worst might happen—especially having transitioned during the 1980s, an even less tolerant time than today. Right before she started taking her first steps into womanhood, she was pulled off a city bus in Philadelphia at 18 years old and beaten by six men who brutalized her as bystanders watched.

The next time Narinesingh was attacked, she was at a gas station in Miami, where she had to fight for her life to get away from her assailants. Her eyes were blackened in the assault, she says, and her face left completely swollen. When she got home, she poured a bucket of ice into a towel as she prayed that nothing like this would ever happen to her again.

During the time of the most recent confrontation, Narinesingh had already used the toilet. She just needed to wash up and walk out the door before things got out of control. She gathered the bravery to offer a flip response to the woman’s provocation, telling her, “I certainly don’t belong in the men’s room,” but the fact of the matter is that she was absolutely terrified. Narinesingh could feel the panic coursing through her veins: palms sweaty, breath heavy, and the anxiety like a knife through the stomach.

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