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#141 — Signal Boosting (… and the HB2 profiling starts)

Signal boosting from www.paigejulianne.com which started up Friday, April 8, 2016, and apparently strained under the load of views – “Paige’s (Mis-)Adventures” – This marks two firsts for me:

  1. Mirroring a page from another blog on this site. Hopefully, I’ve got the bandwidth to withstand my site database blowing up. Wish me luck. I’ve had this server for about 5-6 years.
  2. Posting something about someone else in the trans community, I think…

Update: Site resurfaced briefly with an update and clarification – Thanks, Kara for echoing it. It’s after the jump here. One more updated added after a follow-up mirror by Dawn Ennis.

TL/DR: In Siler City, Chatham County, NC – A trans woman was approached by a county sheriff’s deputy, after using a public restroom in a convenience store, asked for her ID, ran on the sheriff’s computer system, and then asked by the deputy to “leave the premises.” The woman was followed on the highway by the same deputy all the way to the county line before the deputy backed off and exited the highway.

What year, decade, and century are we in again? Anyway, be nice, don’t crash my server, ok?
(Clarification: This happened to someone else, and not to me. I’m in Arizona, way on the other side of the country from NC, thankfully.)

… and the HB2 profiling starts

(Update [4/9 @ 2:20pm]:  Late last night, I had multiple conversations with agencies in/near the town it occurred.  There does not appear to be store video of the incident, even after giving them the exact time my GPS has me there.  Whether they missed me in reviewing the video, the camera didn’t cover the area (it was in a back corner), or whatever the case – they say they can’t find me.

I do recall saying to myself “he doesn’t belong here” – meaning that the car was from a different county from the one I was in.  I have an idea of what it looked like and I’m trying to find pictures for a match – but not all counties have a picture of their car on their website.  I know, it’s an important detail but I want to make 100% sure I get it right before I send another agency into disarray trying to track down the officer involved.

Thank you all for the messages of support here, Twitter, and Facebook.  I have been flooded with emails and calls as well.  I’m trying to return them all.  I am not speaking to the media at this time.)

(Update: [4/8 @ 9:00pm]: I stopped twice for gas and a pit stop. This happened on my WAY to Siler City, NOT IN Siler City. When I got to Siler City is when I was able to use the bathroom without incident. I was in Siler City from 6:07pm to 6:16pm and I have relayed this information to Chief Roberson of Chatham County Sheriff’s office. I have identified the correct county and location, but I want to reach out to the proper law enforcement agency before making a further statement.

Part of my confusion was due to the fact that I stopped at two of the same brand of gas station back-to-back. My apologies to the Chatham County’s sheriff’s office. I thank them for their service to the community.)

Thursday [April 7th], I stopped in [retracted] for some gas, a pit stop, and possibly a small snack. After I had fueled my car, I decided to go into the store because I needed to use the restroom. I noticed that there was a Sheriff’s car there, but proceeded in anyway. Upon entering, I observed a number of people standing around the store, not buying anything, but loitering. It made me nervous, but I really needed to go. I proceeded directly to the women’s room, to the back left of the store. I entered a single occupancy restroom and locked the door behind me. I did my business quickly, washed my hands, and exited. Upon exiting, I moved to the right and proceeded to make myself a fountain drink. While filling the cup, a sheriff’s deputy approached me. He asked to see my ID. I asked if there was an issue that I needed to be aware of. He simply asks for my ID again. We stood there for what seemed to be a minute. Realizing he wasn’t budging, I pull out my wallet and show him my DL through the window. He asks me to take it out, so I complied.

He then takes my ID, turns around and walks out the door to his car. I dumped nearly a full drink at this point and follow him out. As I approach his car, he fully shuts the door. I stand about three feet away from his driver’s side door, watching as he runs my license on his computer. After standing there for what seems to be another minute or longer, he finally opens the door, hands my license back to me and tells me that “I need to leave the premises”. I shake my head as I’m putting my license back in my wallet and say “gladly”. I went back to the pump where my car was parked, get in and start to drive off.

As I am turning out of the gas station, I notice that he falls in line behind me. As I turn right to get onto 421 North, I notice he is still following me. In fact, he followed me for a good 20 miles or whatever it is until I reach the Chatham County line. At that point, he turns around on the highway and starts heading back to where he was. The entire time he is following me, he is less than a car length behind me, which is outright dangerous. I drove one mile under the posted speed limit, while cars going at least 10 or 15 miles over the limit passed me. I signaled for each lane change, but I didn’t notice him doing the same as he stayed right on my bumper.

How is that protecting the children as the Governor, GOP, and right-winger’s said they were doing?

Today was my first day at a new job. I was already nervous between that and the headaches caused by the confusion in my route. This didn’t make it any easier. I’m still stressing and crying just a bit, but I know this needs to get out. Thank you #HB2 for more psychological damage and making me think that perhaps it’s time to leave NC for the first time in my life.

4 comments to #141 — Signal Boosting (… and the HB2 profiling starts)

  • BLove

    Thank you for sharing your story. Incidents like this need to be shared far and wide so everyone can see how blatant the discrimination is. If enough people complain something will have to be done. With enough complaints the Supreme Court will be forced to elevate our issues to a level that would require more scrutiny and action. If you could actually mention the store and county where this occurred it would be helpful, that way all LGBT and allies will know not to spend money there. Blessings to you!

  • Tell this person she should contact her state LGBT group, state ACLU chapter, or Lambda Legal about this incident. Someone is going to sue over this statute and they’ll need a plaintiff. She’s a good candidate. Also, tell anyone in such a situation that they should ask the officer about probable cause. Any officer has to be able to show a specific, articulable reason to accost a citizen at any time for any reason.

  • Paige, the person that had this happen, put up a clarification, but the site hosted at WordPress.com is still down for the count. I’m making sure this gets out somehow, and I’m sure I’m not the only one doing this. It looks like she’s going to reach out to the appropriate law enforcement agency, since it happened outside Siler City, NC. She has made contact with the Chatham County Sheriff’s office.

  • Tejaswoman

    For the TL;DR version, it is worth noting that the bathroom she used was a single-occupant restroom. Therefore there isn’t even the (admittedly transparent) excuse that any children or other women are being protected.

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