Carmen Carrera is a Latina trans model and advocate for trans rights.
Even though she was a contestant on the third season of "RuPaul's Drag Race," that didn't deter her from criticizing the show for its use of transphobic language. She has made history as the first public transgender person to get married on reality television, and there was even a petition for her to become Victoria Secret's first transgender model.
Her public transition has made her an influential voice for the trans community, and now she's using her platform to denounce Trump for reversing the Obama administration's transgender rights guidelines.
Carrera wrote a moving essay for Cosmopolitan on why something as simple as a bathroom plays a pivotal role of survival for a trans person.
She began with a personal anecdote that trans people, unfortunately, can relate to. "I experienced bathroom issues in the beginning of my transition, several years ago, when I was on tour with "RuPaul's Drag Race" and had to be at the airport and use the airport bathroom a lot," the 31-year-old explained.
She went on to describe the anxiety and anguish that she faced when having to choose which bathroom she would use.
"There was a period of time where I didn't know which bathroom to use, so I chose to use the family restroom. Once I got to the point in my transition where I wanted to take it to the next level, I used the ladies room. I remember the looks I would get from the women in there. I remember feeling like I didn't belong, like it was a violation or something."
"I didn't need anyone to tell me to leave to feel like I wasn't welcome."
Her essay highlights why no one, especially children focusing on getting their education, should have to deal with this.
Carrera did not shy away from putting into perspective just how harmful the president's stance on bathroom rights for the young trans community can be. She wrote,
What's happening right now is unfair. It sends a message to kids that we need to be segregated and that certain people shouldn't have the same rights as everyone else. When the leader of our country makes a bold ruling like that, it opens up the door for more bullies and more kids wanting to commit suicide. That's just terrible.
Trump rescinding rules on transgender bathroom rights strips transgender students from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identities. Some, like Carrera, have vocalized their concern over the risk of violence and bullying young kids will now encounter. "This isn’t a states’ rights issue; it’s a civil rights issue," Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, told The New York Times.
Carrera's powerful message shines a light on how taxing it is to navigate the world as a trans person, and how bathroom bills continue to perpetuate violence against the trans community.
"Trans people are in a position where we're not able to love, we're not able to choose a restroom, we're not able to have fun, have meaningful relationships. All because of who we are. We need to protect and support these kids."