SPRINGFIELD, NORTH CAROLINA — A transgender man living in North Carolina is in the process of filing a lawsuit against his state’s government for invasion of privacy over HB2, the so-called bathroom bill that also opens the door for sweeping anti-LGBT discrimination.
William Palumbo is a 36-year-old man who was born a woman. In his late 20’s, Palumbo says he decided to undergo the process of sexual reassignment which included many therapy sessions in addition to the hormone treatments and surgical procedures. Palumbo says he never felt comfortable being identified as a woman, and that gender reassignment has helped him live a “happy and productive” life where he “felt like everyone else.” That is, Palumbo says, until HB2 was passed.
“You know, they passed that law because they said they were worried about protecting people’s privacy and stuff,” Palumbo told our reporter, “but what about my privacy? What about my right to walk into a bathroom and not have every Clem, Cletus, and Billy-Bob peeking over my stall wall to get a gander at my junk?”
Mr. Palumbo said after twice being peeped at in a bathroom while he was pooping, he decided “enough was enough” and he contacted a lawyer. William says he now plans to file an invasion of privacy lawsuit against the State of North Carolina and its Republican Governor Pat McCrory. His attorney has told him that there is potential for a class action lawsuit, if other transgender men and women in North Carolina decide they want to join.
The principle at stake, according to Palumbo is one that applies to the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. Palumbo and his attorney believe HB2 violates the 14th Amendment and they intend to argue that in front of a judge. Palumbo says he feels HB2 by its very nature turns transgender people into a suspected class of potential criminals, and not just average Americans. This violates the spirit of the Constitution, which Palumbo says he and his attorney believe will back up their arguments easily.
“My attorney and I last week spent one whole night combing through the Constitution,” Palumbo said, “and we didn’t find a single reference to biological gender. We couldn’t find any language that said if you’ve had gender reassignment surgery you’re less equal. No one has the right to prejudge me as a criminal, or even simply as unworthy of using a public restroom, simply because I am who I am. That’s a founding principle of this country, and no amount of sad, pathetic, religious-based ignorance and paranoia will change that fact.”
In a totally and completely unrelated story, a Republican city council member in Palumbo’s hometown of Springfield was caught embezzling city funds so he could use them to pay young male prostitutes to sexually service him in a public restroom last week.