DANBURY, Conn. – A Naugatuck woman said she was harassed in the women's bathroom at the Walmart in Danbury by another woman who mistook her for transgender.
In a video posted to Facebook that has been shared more than 1,700 times, Aimée Toms says she was washing her hands when the other woman flipped her off and called her disgusting.
"She thought I was a dude who was hiding in the woman's bathroom," Toms said in her video.
Toms said that she understands why she might be initially mistaken for a transgender woman because of her short hair and the fact that she was wearing a baseball cap, but said that anyone who looked at her would soon realize that she was a cisgender woman.
Even if she was transgender, though, she doesn't think anyone should be treated as disrespectfully as she was by the woman in the Danbury Walmart. Toms said she was always an advocate for transgender people, but her encounter really opened her eyes.
"I was a victim of transphobia today as a cisgender female because of my hair," Toms said. "After today and after experiencing firsthand the discrimination they face, I cannot fathom how much discrimination transgender people must face in a lifetime."
Toms railed against laws across the country that prevent people from using the bathrooms that match the gender with which they identify. She took issue with the idea that people would use the laws as an excuse to enter a women's bathroom and commit a crime.
"If a guy was going to commit a crime in a women's bathroom, this law isn't going to invite them to do it. They're gonna do it anyways. This law was not in place a year ago when I almost got raped in a bathroom because a man followed me into the women's room," she said. "There was no transgender bathroom law that was telling him to go into the women's room and sexually assault me. He just did it because he was an awful person and he wanted to violate someone."
"I can't understand why it's so hard to just accept someone for who they are," Toms said. "I don't wish death on people, I don't wish illness on people because I believe in karma. However, I will wish you the misfortune and disrespect that you hand out to come straight back to you because you deserve nothing good in this world if you're going to treat another human being like that."