Utah Lawmakers Joke About Being Transgender On Twitter

Feb 3, 2014

Two Utah lawmakers generated outrage on Monday after jokingly commenting about changing genders on Twitter. Monday morning State Rep. Jacob Anderegg posted to the social media site said he was "strongly considering a gender identifying change" so that he could use the women’s restroom because the men’s was occupied.

"Switching your gender identity? Just can’t keep up with you. You’re a new man! Erm…woman," said State Sen. Wayne Neiderhauser via Twitter in response to Anderegg's comment.

State Sen. Jacob Anderegg tweeted, "The private Men's bathroom in the House office building is occupied. Strongly considering a gender identifying change to use the open Women's."
Credit https://twitter.com/Political_Jake

Neiderhauser later tweeted that it was an intern who had posted the tweet. Nevertheless, Twitter followers responded in outrage. One transgender individual said she was hurt to be mocked by elected officials.

LGBT activist Troy Williams responded to the tweets and traveled to the capitol to speak with Neiderhauser on Monday afternoon. He said he appealed to the LDS background he and Neiderhauser share.

"Mormons know what it is like to be persecuted," Williams said. "Ought they then not to have empathy and compassion for another marginalized group that have been persecuted?"

Both lawmakers have apologized and Neiderhauser has been openly inviting people to speak with him about the issue.