'She’s Not Going in the Boys Bathroom.' Ohio Mom Speaks out Against Transgender Bathroom Ban Bill

The Ohio House recently passed a bill that would ban transgender people from using the bathroom and locker room that aligns with their gender identity.

Jul 8, 2024 at 10:12 am
Introduced by state Rep. Beth Lear, R-Galena, and state Rep. Adam Bird, R-New Richmond, House Bill 183 would require students at K-12 schools and colleges to only use bathrooms or locker rooms matching their sex assigned at birth.
Introduced by state Rep. Beth Lear, R-Galena, and state Rep. Adam Bird, R-New Richmond, House Bill 183 would require students at K-12 schools and colleges to only use bathrooms or locker rooms matching their sex assigned at birth. Photo: Tim Mossholder, Pexels

Bradie Anderson fears she will be physically harmed if she uses the boys bathroom at her Northeast Ohio high school. 

The 14-year-old sophomore is transgender and her mom Anne said she has never had any issues with using the girls restroom at school. 

“She’s not going in the boys bathroom,” Anne said. “If my daughter went into the boys bathroom, I would hate to think what would happen to her in there.” 

But the Ohio House recently passed a bill that would ban transgender people, like Bradie, from using the bathroom and locker room that aligns with their gender identity. The bill now heads to the Senate for concurrence, but the legislators are on break until after the election. 

“The bathroom bill is going to get kids hurt and put them in harm’s way,” Anne said. “Why would anyone want to put any child, even if you don’t understand who they are, in harm’s way?” 

If the bathroom bill were to pass, Anne questions who is going to monitor the bathrooms. 

“If you don’t look feminine enough, if you don’t look masculine enough, are they going to be questioned?” Anne said. “Because cisgender people are also going to get pulled into this as well.”

The American Medical Association opposes policies preventing transgender individuals from accessing basic human services and public facilities consistent with gender identity.

Anti-transgender legislation in Ohio

The bathroom bill is one of many anti-LGBTQ+ bills Ohio lawmakers have introduced in the General Assembly — including one that would ban gender affirming care and prevent transgender athletes from playing women’s sports and another that would force educators to out students to their parents.

“These are our kids,” Anne said. “They’re not talking points. They’re real kids.”

Bradie came out eight years ago and was kicked out of Catholic school for being transgender, forcing her to switch to public school where she started experiencing harassment from her middle school peers around the same time Ohio lawmakers started introducing anti-transgender legislation. 

“She had been threatened with physical harm, threatening to cut body parts off of her,” Anne said. 

The harassment has not stopped Bradie from advocating for herself and others. She has testified in committee meetings against the various anti-transgender bills and started speaking out at protests when she was 11, Anne said. 

But all of the anti-transgender legislation in Ohio is taking a toll on Bradie, who receives gender affirming care. 

“The last few weeks have been tough,” Anne said. “Bradie’s been crying. She’s been very upset. The combination of being harassed in our town that we live in and all of the anti-trans bills, especially the bathroom bill, gives her major anxiety.”

Bradie loves playing soccer, but because of all the scrutiny around transgender athletes, she’s not sure if she’ll play this fall. 

“She’s so much more than being transgender,” Anne said. “She’s sick of the adult bullies coming for her in this town, and a lot of them don’t even have children in the school.” 

Despite all of these proposed anti-transgender bills in Ohio, Bradie doesn’t want to move away. 

“She shouldn’t have to,” Anne said. “I grew up here, and I’m not going to be run out of town because people are ignorant.”

This story was originally published by the Ohio Capital Journal and republished here with permission.


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