A Kansas mom tried to help her disabled son in a library, as she did for many years, but new law prohibited it.
The library incident
Karen Wild visited the Wichita Public Library’s central branch with her son, Ellis Dunville. She tried to help her son, who is on the autistic spectrum with a seizure disorder and is nonverbal. They were told to leave the restroom despite using it for years.
The mother and son had a routine
The two have used the women's bathroom for years. It is on the way to Wild's mom, who helps her care for her son. However, a male security guard told the two that Dunville could not use it. Another person was inside, but they did not mind the mother and son.
They were told to use a gender-neutral toilet
Wild did not know there was a gender-neutral bathroom. She only learned about it after they left the women's restroom, and a female library employee mentioned they had a policy and informed them about the third option for a bathroom.
Blaming the Senate Bill 180
Despite not mentioning the bill, the woman is convicted that the anti-transgender bill prompted the incident. But, the mother is also worried about her trans niece, who is also her son’s other caretaker.
No other explanation
The worried mother said, "There isn't anything I can think of that has changed except that they heard about that law and decided they needed to be emboldened by it somehow." She added, "I can't explain it any other way."
The library confirmed the incident
A spokesperson for the library claims the library has "seen a slight uptick in unsafe activities in our library recently — as is the case with most urban libraries and large public spaces — and our staff has been more aware of situations that appear out of the ordinary."
Mishandled customer service
The spokesperson called this incident a "mishandled customer service." They added, "Our staff was curious about the situation and ultimately offered a solution for future uses."
The bill could impact the whole family
Wild also shared, "My niece identifies as a woman, and then you’d have, in some people’s eyes, two men in the woman’s bathroom."
Kansas Governor tried to veto the bill
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly explained, "Companies have made it clear that they are not interested in doing business with states that discriminate against workers and their families."
The Governor's statement continued
Kelly added, "By stripping away rights from Kansans and opening the state up to expensive and unnecessary lawsuits, these bills would hurt our ability to continue breaking economic records and landing new business deals.”
GOP overturned the veto
The Republican lawmakers overturned the veto and opened Kansas to potentially more problems.
Transphobic incidents with cis women
In November, a woman at a Las Vegas casino harassed a straight cis woman because she had short hair. In December, a cis female cancer survivor who had her breasts removed told the media that public restroom users regularly challenge her gender, worsening her social anxiety.