Permission to Hate

Pitt: High school transgender male got threats, fears getting beaten up in bathroom

Lucas Rixon
Lucas Rixon Courtesy of Lucas Rixon

Lucas Rixon, 17, feels as if he’s being watched.

He is a high school senior in Winterville, a town of about 9,000 residents in the eastern part of the state. He loves math and theater, and hopes to study at UNC Charlotte. About a year ago, he transitioned from long hair to short, from Meghan to Lucas, female to male.

He said some classmates threatened to beat him up. Others told him he should die because God doesn’t love him. Then lawmakers passed HB2, and it seemed to Lucas that even his state had turned against him.

“I’m scared about everything because people are cruel and mean. They make me feel like I’m nothing.”

Part of the new law – derided worldwide as “the bathroom law” – singled out transgender men and women, requiring them to use public restrooms that correspond with the gender on their birth certificates. Advocates for LGBTQ residents consider it the most anti-LGBTQ legislation ever enacted.

Now, if Lucas needs to go to the bathroom in a public place, he gets male friends to escort him. He’s afraid of being beaten up for using the men’s room. If he’s alone, Lucas said, “I just hold my pee.”