Kelly Herron is an avid marathon runner. Last week, while on the fourth mile of her route she stopped at a public restroom. A cisgender man was waiting in one of the stalls and attacked her. Herron, along with the help of others, managed to lock him in a bathroom stall until the police were able to arrive.
“Thankfully I just took a self-defense class offered at my work and utilized all of it,” Herrod wrote in an Instagram post. However, the traumatic experience wasn’t over. Soon after the attack took place, Herrod found her face being plastered online and on the news to fundraise for the campaign that supports I-1552, a ballot initiative in the state of Washington that would push back protections for trans people.
My biggest running nightmare became reality- 4 miles into my long run Sunday afternoon, I stopped to use the restroom and was assaulted by a man hiding in a stall (that is my GPS in red lines). I fought for my life screaming(“Not today, M**F**er!”), clawing his face, punching back, and desperately trying to escape his grip- never giving up. I was able to lock him in the bathroom until police arrived. Thankfully I just took a self-defense class offered at my work and utilized all of it. My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact. #fightingchanceseattle #ballard #runnersafety #marathontraining #womensselfdefense #myballard #fightlikeagirl #fightback #dontbeavictim #nottodaymotherfucker #youcantbreakme #instarunners #garmin #garminvivosmarthr
This bill calls for “privacy and safety in public restrooms,” however the language used is a direct attack on trans rights. With recent cases like Gavin Grimm’s SCOTUS case gaining front page coverage, it seems the whole country is in a discourse about bathroom rights.
Transphobic people often use the argument that children and women are endangered by trans women, but the numbers prove that these hypothetical cases have not happened. In fact, women and children are at much higher risk of being attacked or assaulted by cisgender men. Like what happened to Kelly Herron.
Herron said she does not agree with I-1552.
“I was actually doing pretty well with my mental state, and then I see this, and I am so outraged,” she told My North West News. “I have transgender friends. I work with transgender people. They are people. They identify differently, and I don’t care where they use the bathroom. When I see a transgender person in the bathroom, we talk about lip gloss.”
Though supporters of I-1552 have publicly claimed the initiative is not anti-trans, the language used states otherwise. The bill states that all bathrooms must be divided by “men” and “women” in the state of Washington. It further explains that these gender identities are established “based upon the person’s sex or gender as determined or that existed biologically or genetically at the time of a person’s birth.” It even allows students to sue their schools for $5,000 every time they see a trans student using a bathroom or locker room they deem to be “incorrect.”
Herron is now speaking publicly against her face being used to promote discrimination.
“This is a sick, transient, Level 3 sex offender hiding in a bathroom stall in a beach bathroom, waiting to rape the next person who uses a hand dryer,” Herron said. “I had to fight for my life. Then I see this newsletter saying this is why we shouldn’t let transgender people use the bathroom. Guess what, he didn’t read the sign that says ‘women.’ He did it anyway. It’s equally illegal if he were a female and hiding in the bathroom and coming out to assault me. Now my face is being used to promote discrimination. This is outrageous. One issue has nothing to do with the other.”