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An Example of How Transgender Rights Affect Women’s Safety

In June, Instagram user “CubanaAngel” posted a video featuring a woman demanding of an employee at Wi Spa in Los Angeles why a man was being allowed in the women’s area.

“It’s OK for a man to go into the women’s section, show his penis around the other women, young little girls underage, your spa, Wi Spa, condones that, is that what you’re saying?”

The video went viral, and heated protests featuring people on both sides ensued. The Los Angeles Times reported that Wi Spa said “they are required to follow California law that prohibits businesses from discriminating against customers based on race, gender, sexual identity or expression.”

Meanwhile, some outlets questioned whether the incident had even occurred. The Washington Post reported, “It is unclear whether a transgender woman actually used the spa. The person has not been publicly identified.”  Slate headlined an article, “Violence Over an Alleged Transphobic Hoax Shows the Danger of Underestimating Anti-Trans Hate.”

But now we’re learning the incident did happen—and a person who identifies as transgender has been charged.

“Charges of indecent exposure were discreetly filed against a serial sex offender for the Wi Spa incident, following an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department,” reports Andy Ngo for the New York Post. “Sources with knowledge of the case but not authorized to speak publicly say four women and a minor girl came forward to allege that Darren Agee Merager was partially erect in the women’s section of Wi Spa.”

Merager, meanwhile, “denies ever being ..."