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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Wave of bathroom bills has Florida's transgender community worried it's next



ST. PETERSBURG - On a recent trip to the hair salon, Shannon McGuire had more than style on her mind.

She had been wearing her hair in an angled bob, a style her hairdresser pronounced "tired," and suggested she replace with a pixie cut.

"At that moment, going through my head was: If I get my hair cut that short, the number of people who call me a guy is going to triple immediately," McGuire, 33, said as she leaned into a circle of transgender women like herself.

They had gathered on a recent Tuesday night, as they often do, for a support group meeting.

"The fact that the bathroom laws are out there and they're causing such a stir makes you think about it more often," she said.

Around the room, heads nodded sympathetically. Every one of them had been there and understood the vital importance of getting it right. The safe choice might be the boring one, but if it let them pass unnoticed and unharmed, it was the smart choice. A haircut could never be a just a haircut.

McGuire went with a bob. "We'll just stick with old and tired," she told the stylist.

In ways large and small, the latest wave of anti-LGBT legislation sweeping through the South is weighing on the minds of transgender people in Florida, many of whom feel they have become a fresh target for social conservatives angered by the legalization of gay marriage.

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[Last modified: Friday, April 22, 2016 12:25pm]


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