Cheryl Helmer, a GOP state representative in Kansas wrote in an email to a constituent that she does not want to share a bathroom with a trans colleague, according to the Topeka Capitol-Journal.
In the April 23 email, Helmer equated sharing a bathroom with her trans colleague to a time when she accidentally walked into a men’s restroom near the Kansas House floor.
“Now, personally I do not appreciate the huge transgender female who is now in our restrooms in the Capitol,” Helmer wrote in the email. “It is quite uncomforting. I have asked the men if they would like a woman in their restroom and they freaked out.”
Helmer’s email also claim, without evidence, that “little girls have been raped, sodomized and beaten in the restrooms by these supposedly transgenders who may or may not be for real.”
The GOP lawmaker did not identify who the trans colleague was in the email, but in an interview with the Topeka Capitol-Journal she confirmed her comments were directed at Democratic Rep. Stephanie Byers, the state’s first transgender lawmaker who was elected in 2020.
Byers, who said in a floor speech that she has received looks and subtle derision from colleagues, is not surprised by the comments.
“I’m not shocked by it,” Byers said. “I know who I am. And I know what the ideology is, as opposed to people like me, and I’m sure these discussions will be going on behind closed doors for the two years that I’ve been here.”