Under the Dome

Transgender actress to use men’s bathroom to comply with HB2

Shakina Nayfack plans to follow House Bill 2 by using men’s restrooms in North Carolina because her birth certificate still lists her sex as male.
Shakina Nayfack plans to follow House Bill 2 by using men’s restrooms in North Carolina because her birth certificate still lists her sex as male.

A transgender actress says she’ll use the men’s room while performing in North Carolina so she doesn’t violate House Bill 2.

In the wake of the LGBT law, Shakina Nayfack plans to perform a play in North Carolina about her transition from male to female, including her trip to Thailand for gender reassignment surgery. But because her birth certificate still lists her sex as male, House Bill 2 requires her to use a men’s restroom in state government buildings and schools. She says she’ll comply with the law as she tours the state – and document her bathroom trips on social media.

“It points out the ridiculous nature of the law,” Nayfack said. “Way more people would get uncomfortable by seeing me in the men’s room than a women’s room.”

A publicity photo for Nayfack’s performance shows her squatting over a urinal in a men’s bathroom. Asked if she plans to use urinals or toilet stalls, she said she might stage photos with urinals but would be using the stall.

Nayfack said she’s not worried about what she might experience as a transgender woman in a men’s bathroom. Some transgender people have said House Bill 2’s bathroom requirements will make them vulnerable to sexual assaults or harassment.

“I’m no stranger to harassment,” Nayfack said. “I’m traveling with some pretty tough guys in our band. I don’t intend to throw myself into harm’s way.”

Nayfack is currently trying to raise $6,000 to fund her North Carolina tour, with performances in eight cities from June 9-21. Stops include Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Charlotte. She said she’ll likely visit the state legislature as well.

“I think of it as a USO tour,” she said. “I feel like I’m coming down to be a cheerleader for the folks who have to deal with the day-to-day struggle. … My hope is to demystify a lot of what people don’t understand (about  transgender people).”

VIDEO: The News & Observer talks with transgender residents of the Triangle area of NC about their experiences and the impact of HB2 on their lives.

Liam Johns, who was born female, talks about the challenges he now faces under North Carolina's HB2 law.

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