From Global News:
“A bouncer at an Alberta bar, under fire after River Rising’s account of her experience trying to use the bathroom went viral, is sharing his account of what happened. Peter Smith claims Rising, a transgender female, identified herself as male when she entered the Corona Tavern in Medicine Hat. But Rising said that’s not the case. Smith said he was working the door when Rising and her group of friends came in a few weeks ago. Smith said he asked for identification and saw that Rising—who identifies as female—had an ID that said her gender was male.
“I looked at the ID, I looked back at her, and I said, ‘your ID tells me you’re male.’ She said, ‘yes, I’m a male.’ ‘OK great, welcome. Have fun,’” Smith said in an interview Thursday.
Smith said later in the night, he was called over to the bar because “concerns were being raised” though he wasn’t given specifics.
“So I pulled River aside and I said, ‘look, I need to know, are you pre-operative or post-operative?’” Smith said.
Smith said Rising told him she was terrified to use the men’s room despite his offer to escort her and make sure no one else went in. He said she then told him she’d just “go outside.” Smith said he thought the issue was over.
“A few minutes later, a few of her friends came up and started calling me names personally. Started calling me a homophobe, a transphobe…and the worst thing they called me was a hateful bigot. Anybody who knows me, knows I’m not any of those things.”
Rising said she was upset but didn’t yell at anybody.
“I feel sad. I don’t think he was acting out of transphobia or homophobia—he didn’t know what was right and wrong,” she said.
Smith quit his job at the Corona Tavern Thursday, because he was told by management to “shut up” and that the situation “doesn’t matter.” He said he wanted to share his side of the story because he doesn’t feel he did anything wrong.”
The reason for the concerns about River Rising using the women’s washroom were the following:
“Since the passing of Bill 7, we have had numerous complaints about Males going into the women’s washroom. The clientele that we serve are often under the influence of alcohol and some young men, who are not transgendered have been claiming to be, to enter the women’s washroom. This has caused some young female patrons to feel unsafe and threatened. We have no bias against those who are LGBTQ and in fact have always been proud to serve this population within our business, even supporting the PRIDE festival in past years. We are saddened by this situation, and had no intention of making any human being feel unsafe. We want to be responsive to the legislation and are looking for solutions to address this, including the option of a private bathroom. We have always supported this community and will continue to do so; we are open to ideas as to how to address this in a different, more proactive way. Today we are changing one bathroom into a gender neutral bathroom in order to immediately address the problem.”
A video accessible on Global News shows River Rising responding to the possibility of a gender neutral washroom. He says that’s fine for someone who identifies outside the binary but binary people should be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice.
River Rising sounds and looks male in his interview, despite his makeup and hair. A look at his Facebook page confirms that he is in a relationship with another male. He hasn’t had SRS surgery. He speaks with the vocal inflections that we associate with heterosexual teenage girls. There have been gay men like him for as long as there have been gay men, but we used to call them drag queens. It’s normal that in every generation there are a few gay men who identify with the stereotypes assigned to women in regards to makeup and vocal inflection. It’s okay to be a feminine gay man, and I would support his right to dress and speak the way he wants if he wasn’t trying to pretend that he is actually female and if he wasn’t trying to take away women’s rights. The strange thing is, bar bouncer Peter Smith reports that Rising’s friends shouted “homophobe” at him as one of the words they used as insults. Rising brought up the word “homophobia” himself. The use of the word “homophobe” here demonstrates that on some level they understand that Rising is a gay male, even though they are pretending to believe he is female. Otherwise, why would they say homophobe? If he was female then there would have been no “homophobia” to speak of.
The homophobia that we’re actually seeing here is that it’s become impossible for a feminine gay man to grow up to be a happy gay man. Many of them are being rushed off to gender identity clinics the moment they start playing with dolls, and those who reach adulthood with their male bodies intact are still drawn to transitioning. I think it’s because there are no gender nonconforming gay male role models coming forward and telling these young men that, yes, you can go around wearing makeup and wigs and you can have a career in cosmetology and you can still call yourself male.
After River Rising became famous over being asked to use a men’s washroom, CBC news believed it was an actual news item that he got kicked off of Facebook for ten hours over his use of a fake name. Transwomen are so precious that whenever they sneeze, it’s newsworthy.
River Rising has given no indication that he cares about the rights of female human beings to have sex-segregated spaces free of males. In fact, his behaviour demonstrates that he thinks the females he supposedly identifies with should have no rights to set boundaries so that even when drunk, non-transgender males are entering women’s washrooms just for kicks, that still doesn’t mean gender neutral washrooms for trans people are a reasonable accommodation. He wants complete and total access to women’s private spaces for males who wish to enter. He will probably get his wish, due to legislation passed in his province making it illegal to discriminate against a person on the basis of gender identity. Discrimination against women is still something that no one cares about.
In different circumstances, I would consider River Rising a part of my community, due to him being a gender nonconforming gay male. But since he is a misogynist narcissist who is taking away women’s rights just for the sake of his identity, I cannot consider him a part of my community at all. He talks about harm done to the LGBT community because he is not allowed to use women’s washrooms. The actual women who are the L in that acronym disagree. He is harming us.