Here's what it'll look like if trans people aren't allowed to use the right bathroom.

No woman should be forced to use the men's restroom, and no man should be forced to use the women's.

This is a man named Michael Hughes.

Why is he in a women's restroom?


Michael is protesting a series of bills across the U.S. and Canada that, if passed, would ban men like him from using men's restrooms and leave him no choice but to use the women's room.

Bizarrely, these laws have been proposed as a way to protect the privacy and safety of women.

(I know. It doesn't make sense, but hang with me.)

Michael is a transgender man, meaning that when he was born, the doctor looked at him and labeled him a girl.

As Michael can tell you, he's not a girl and he's not a woman.

Inspired by a woman from Canada, Michael has been snapping selfies in women's restrooms to show people just how out of place he looks.


If these types of bills become law, people like Michael and other trans men would be forced to use women's restrooms.

Is this the type of guy you want in your restrooms and locker rooms, ladies?


Several states have proposed laws legalizing discrimination against transgender people this year alone.

The main focus of these bills has been whether trans people should be allowed to use public restrooms, though they're often part of a larger effort to deny rights to trans people.

Texas' bill would have denied trans people entrance to public restrooms, showers, or changing rooms.

The penalty for using a restroom that doesn't match the gender "established by the individual's chromosomes" is up to a year in prison and a fine up to $4,000.

Even worse, the bill stated that an "operator, manager, superintendent, or other person with authority over a building" who willfully allows a trans person to use restrooms that match their actual gender will be charged with a felony and could serve a minimum of 180 days in prison and be fined up to $10,000.

The bill remains in committee awaiting action.

Florida's language would have established gender as one's "biological sex, either male or female, at birth."

The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Frank Artiles, brushed off backlash by arguing that going to the bathroom is a choice.

The punishment for a trans person who uses the correct bathroom in Florida would have been up to a year in prison and a fine up to $1,000. The bill died in committee, and did not become law.

Kentucky's bill would have denied trans students the ability to use the correct restroom.

The bill came in response to a Louisville school's decision to allow a trans student to use the restroom that matches their gender.

While the bill didn't specify punishment for using the "incorrect" restroom, it did put what some are calling a "bounty" on catching trans students in the "wrong" restroom. The bill did not become law.


The groups pushing to deny trans people the ability to use restrooms simply spread misinformation.

Opponents of trans-inclusive environments argue that allowing trans people to use restrooms that match their gender invites and allows men into women's restrooms to leer and assault women at will.

Their arguments aren't based in reality.

(Still with me? The laws are pretty ridiculous, but now you know why they're being proposed.)


It's just as ridiculous for a trans woman to have to use the men's restroom as it is for Michael to have to use the women's restroom.

Trans women are not men, and Michael is not a woman.


When it comes down to it, trans people just need to pee. That's all.

Watch Michael Hughes' appearance on MSNBC's "Out There" with Thomas Roberts below:

More

Andy Grammer, the pop singer and songwriter behind feel-good tunes like "Keep Your Head Up," "Back Home," and "Don't Give Up on Me," has a new album out—and it is seriously fabulous. Titled simply "Naive," Grammer says it's "all about how seeing the good in todays world can feel like a rebellious act."

"I wrote this album for the light bringers," Grammer shared on Facebook. "The people who choose to see the good even in the overwhelming chaos of the bad. The smilers who fight brick by brick to build an authentic smile everyday, even when it seems like an impossible thing to do. For those who have been marginalized as 'sweet' or 'cute' or 'less powerful' for being overly positive. To me optimism is a war to be fought, possibly the most important one. If I am speaking to you and you are relating to it then know I made this album for you. You are my tribe. I love you and I hope it serves you. Don't let the world turn down your shine, we all so badly need it."

Reading that, it's easy to think maybe he really is naive, but Grammer's positivity isn't due to nothing difficult ever happening in his life. His mom, Kathy, died of breast cancer when Grammer was 25. He and his mother were very close, and her life and death had a huge impact on him.

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via Stratford Festival / Twitter

Service dogs are invaluable to their owners because they are able to help in so many different ways.

They're trained to retrieve dropped Items, open and close doors, help their owners remove their clothes, transport medications, navigate busy areas such as airports, provide visual assistance, and even give psychological help.

The service dog trainers at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs in Canada want those who require service dogs to live the fullest life possible, so they're training dogs on how to attend a theatrical performance.

The adorable photos of the dogs made their way to social media where they quickly went viral.

On August 15, a dozen dogs from Golden Retrievers to poodles, were treated to a performance of "Billy Elliott" at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. This was a special "relaxed performance" featuring quieter sound effects and lighting, designed for those with sensory issues.

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"It's important to prepare the dogs for any activity the handler may like to attend," Laura Mackenzie, owner and head trainer at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs, told CBC.

"The theater gives us the opportunity to expose the dogs to different stimuli such as lights, loud noises, and movement of varying degrees," she continued. "The dogs must remain relaxed in tight quarters for an extended period of time."

The dogs got to enjoy the show from their own seats and took a break with everyone else during intermission. They were able to familiarize themselves with the theater experience so they know how to navigate through crowds and fit into tight bathroom stalls.

via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter

"About a dozen dogs came to our relaxed performance, and they were all extremely well-behaved," says Stratford Festival spokesperson Ann Swerdfager. "I was in the lobby when they came in, then they took their seats, then got out of their seats at intermission and went back — all of the things we learn as humans when we start going to the theater."

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The dogs' great performance at the trial run means that people who require service animals can have the freedom to enjoy special experiences like going to the theater.

"It's wonderful that going to the theater is considered one of the things that you want to train a service dog for, rather than thinking that theater is out of reach for people who require a service animal, because it isn't," Swerdfager said.

The Stratford Festival runs through Nov. 10 and features productions of "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "The Neverending Story," "Othello," "Billy Elliot," "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Crucible" and more.

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