Requiring people to use the restroom according to their gender at birth seems like harmless bureaucracy — until you consider what that means for transgender people.
In most states, there are no laws protecting transgender people from discrimination. It's a pressing issue: from losing out on a job to using the bathroom, the trans community is one of the groups that experience the most discrimination in this country.
Take this trans woman, for example. Featured in an ad promoting transgender equality, this woman was assigned male at birth, but has been living as a woman, her true self, since her transition.
But considering the attitudes about transgender people in this country, it's not always easy to do that.
Even something as simple as using the restroom at a diner can become an issue.
The bathroom laws enacted in some states have become a deeply controversial topic, the divide split quite evenly between Democrats who see it as yet another form of government-sanctioned discrimination against transgender people, and Republicans whose argument that it is meant to protect children is under scrutiny.
So what better platform to make transgender voices heard than at the Republican National Convention (RNC) itself? The ad will make its TV debut on Fox News during the RNC to highlight the lack of anti-discrimination laws at the state and federal level to protect trans people.
"Safety and privacy in bathrooms are important for all of us," the woman says in the ad, which was funded by a coalition of rights groups. "It's already illegal to enter a restroom to harm someone, and anyone who does that can and should be arrested. Updating the law to protect gay and transgender people from discrimination won't change that, but it would help to ensure people like me aren't mistreated when we need to do something as basic as using the restroom."
The ad will also air at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) the following week.