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Tampa university ‘reviewing’ viral incident of man using women’s bathroom

Student who filmed, confronted individual says she plans to file complaint

The University of Tampa is reviewing a controversial incident that thrust the institution into the national spotlight recently when a student confronted a man dressed as a woman after he used the women’s restroom.

“The University is aware of the video and is reviewing the situation,” Eric Cardenas, assistant vice president for communications and public affairs, told The College Fix in an email Wednesday.

“Campus Safety did not receive any reports about the incident during the event, but the University is reviewing the situation following its normal protocols,” he said. “The individual who was filmed is a non-UT student and had not been granted special permission by the administration to enter the restroom.”

Conservative student Nicole Gillis, who filmed and confronted the individual, told The College Fix in a telephone interview Wednesday she plans to file a complaint over the incident.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law last year that mandates that individuals use the bathroom that corresponds to their biological sex, not their gender identity.

“I was just kind of shocked that he walked right in there. No hesitation, no shame. Just as if he thought he belonged in there when he obviously did not,” Gillis told The Fix.

Gillis is chairwoman of the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at the University of Tampa. She shared her video one-minute video with the group, which posted it on X, prompting it to go viral.

The man is shown dressed as a woman in pink daisy duke shorts, a neon green crop top, hot pink Converse shoes and a white-haired wig. He used a women’s bathroom in the University of Tampa’s Plant Hall, Gillis said.

Gillis told The College Fix she was in disbelief that what she “could totally tell was a guy from far away” walked right into a women’s restroom on her campus.

The man is a member of St. Pete Pride, a nonprofit pro-LBGTQ+ group, and was there as part of the UTampaPride, a pro-LBGTQ+ student organization, Pride Fest event.

St. Pete Pride responded to Gillis’ video in a Facebook Reel this week, calling the content “derogatory and hateful.”

“We find it reprehensible that the video was made and is still up on Twitter. This is a reminder to everyone that intolerance, misinformation and hate leads to continued transphobia, harm and harassment,” St. Pete Pride President Byron Green-Calisch said. “We stand in solidarity with our team member and all trans folk as they continue to face violence outside of bathrooms.”

The University of Tampa has a list of “gender-inclusive” bathroom locations across campus posted on its website. The ones in Plant Hall are not among them. The hall, leased by the college, serves as a historical landmark in the community and, although used for university classes, is also open to the public.

Cardenas told The Fix he is “aware” of the law prohibiting men in women’s restrooms and that the university is in “full compliance” with its guidelines despite the April 19 incident.

“The University is in full compliance with the new state law regarding bathroom access and considers the safety and well-being of all its community members as its highest priority,” Cardenas said in an email.

MORE: Alabama gov. signs law banning DEI funding at universities, blocks men from women’s bathrooms

IMAGE: X screenshot

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About the Author
Blake Mauro -- Clemson University