Weird News

Transgender Ticketed in Texas for Using Ladies Restroom
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While in 16 states and the District of Columbia there are laws to protect the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming people, Texas does not have any such law. Something that a Dallas transgender woman found out to his chagrin on April 25 after being ticketed for disorderly conduct for entering a woman’s restroom. Paula Witherspoon, previously Paul Witherspoon, told the media, “It was definitely humiliating, degrading … I felt like I was being discriminated against.”

The incident happened in Parkland Hospital in Dallas where authorities called the police after a complaint from a female patient that a man was in the women’s restroom. Witherspoon told the media, “This is 2012, and I’ve been transitioning since 2006, and I’ve never had a problem until I went to Parkland Hospital.” She says see did not meet anyone else in the restroom, but met a female patient when she was walking out. “There was a lady there that said, ‘That’s a man.’ I just ignored her and kept going.”

Soon after, a Parkland officer came and cited her. Witherspoon offered to show a letter from her doctor that states, “She is expected to use facilities consistent with her external presentation, which is female.”


However, her license mentioned her as a man, and the police said they have to follow that. According to the law in Texas, to be cited for disorderly conduct a person must have acted “intentionally or knowingly for a lewd or unlawful purpose.” Clearly the law did not call for ticketing in this case unless there was a complaint of “lewd or unlawful purpose.”

Witherspoon said, “I went to the bathroom, took care of my business, washed my hands and left … I didn’t even see anyone.”

Since the incident, Parkland Hospital has issued a statement mentioning, “Because of the complexity of the issue, the incident is currently under review. Parkland strives to treat patients, visitors and staff with dignity and respect, as well as provide a safe environment at all times.”

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