A group of transgender men were outraged Monday when 17-year-old Jean Marco Pumarol blocked their path to a women’s bathroom. Pumarol said he was protecting the privacy of a woman inside.
The Organization of American States held its 46th gathering at San Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. The event included discussions of pro-life and LGBT rights. When pro-life speakers began their talks, LGBT activists protested by leaving the room. Catherine Pognat, a feminist activist, advocated for transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identified.
“My obligation as a gentleman is to safeguard the security of the women,” said Pumoral.
Director of the U.S. branch of CitizenGo Gregory Mertz joined Pumarol and a few other people in blocking the entrance to the restroom. What began as an argument between Pumarol and people attempting to enter the bathroom turned into an angry mob. The crowd chanted “discrimination” and “transphobia,” while Pumarol silently stood in the doorway.
Footage taken from behind Pumoral in the bathroom can be found HERE. Watch from the LGTB activists’ perspective below:
Mertz attempted to shield the teenager from the protestors, but a person who identified as a woman punched him in the stomach. When Pumarol and others tried to exit the bathroom entrance, he was shoved to the ground against the wall. Neither reported serious injuries.
Those trying to enter the bathroom were angry that Pumoral blocked their passage. In San Domingo, biological males are not allowed to use women’s restrooms.
"What is happening here is an example of how trans people live in fear, even to go to the bathroom,” said an LGBT community member. “It is very difficult to have a political dialogue on an equal footing when transgender people are afraid to go to the bathroom.”