Metro Weekly

Trans man in North Carolina hands out business cards in bathrooms

Cards explain his presence in women's bathroom as mandated by discriminatory HB 2 law

The original version of Comero's business cards (Photo: Charlie Comero, via Facebook).
The original version of Comero’s business cards (Photo: Charlie Comero, via Facebook).

“It’s a new thing for many — and there are many of us (myself included) who are wiling to educate and speak with them from a place of love and compassion.”

–Charlie Comero, a transgender man in Charlotte, N.C., on his efforts to spread awareness of the pernicious effects of HB 2 on the state’s transgender community. HB 2 repeals a pro-LGBT rights ordinance in Charlotte, prevents localities from adopting their own ordinances and mandates that transgender people may only use bathrooms or changing facilities, including those in government buildings and schools, that correspond with their biological sex at birth. Comero has been handing out cards to women when he is in the restroom that explain that he, as a transgender male, is being forced to use the women’s restroom under the new law.

“That’s the purpose of my cards: to show an amount of absurdity about the law and to educate folks [about] what being transgender means,” Comero told The Huffington Post. The cards explain the ramifications of HB 2, including forcing people like Comero to enter the women’s restroom, and urges North Carolinians to call their legislators and ask them to repeal the law overturning HB 2.

One time, when Comero was using the women’s room at the government center in North Carolina, a female government employee told him he was in the women’s restroom, he attempted to give her a card, which she declined to take, before explaining why he was using the women’s restroom. But when he ran into her later in the day, it dawned on him that the woman may not have understood what it means to be a transgender male. He has since revised the language on the cards to explain that concept.

“My whole card idea is a great, compassionate approach to such a disservice to the community, but it is not enough,” Comero explained. “I firmly believe that she has no idea who she ran into in the bathroom and how I see my gender and my history. I have since modified the cards to read that a transgender male is someone who’s birth certificate (at the time of birth) says female and that is not how I live my everyday life. The irony in all this is that I learned as much as she did.”

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