A north Texas woman who was at the Baylor Medical Center to treat an injury was pursued and confronted inside the women's restroom by a transphobic man who believed her to be a transgender woman.
Even if Jessica Rush was a transgender woman, that would not give the man the right to perform some kind of bigoted citizen's arrest, but she is not. She is a cisgender woman who dresses a certain way.
“You didn’t look like a girl when I saw you enter. I thought you was a…,” the man told her with a heavy accent.
“A boy?” she asked him.
“Yes, I was kind of confused when I saw this,” the unidentified man. “That’s the only reason. Now that I see you are a woman. … You know it’s difficult. Of course, you dress like a man. You dress like a man.”
"It scared me at first," said Rush. "My first thought was I'm about to be attacked because I am a 5 foot, 3 [inch tall] female." [...]
"I understand one thing if you're a cop of the Dallas Police Department but some random guy coming in I think is absolutely absurd and inappropriate," said Rush.
I don't think it would acceptable even for a male police officer to barge in and confront her, but I digress.
Can you or can you not tell the difference between a cisgender person and a transgender person? In some cases, maybe. In most cases, probably not. Whether or not someone looks the way they're suppose to based on societal norms or projections is a major source of anguish for many people but especially transgender individuals who may suffer from body dysmorphia.
It's not for anyone to say how you should or should not look and if outside appearances is how transphobes are going to scrutinize bathroom use, we can expect to see many more incidents of mistaken identity. Moreover, it's plausible many a conservative will share a public restroom with a transgender person today or tomorrow and not even notice because they don't even remotely resemble the opposite sex.
I posit that these questions would not even be crossing the minds of many people if conservative lawmakers and even Republican presidential candidates named Ted Cruz had not made it their new pet cause. The threat of transgender aggression in restrooms is a non-existent problem conservatives are developing solutions for.
They're yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater.