Yet another bathroom boycott

Target+has+come+out+in+support+of+LGBTQ+rights.

Target has come out in support of LGBTQ rights.

Reilly Signor, Reporter

      Target has been known throughout the years as being relatively liberal in terms of their store policies. Starting in 2002, they announced that there wouldn’t be gender labels on the toy aisles and in August 2015, they announced that clothing and home goods would no longer be gender based as well.

     On April 19, 2016 Target headquarters announced that their bathrooms would be gender neutral from now on, continuing the trend. Target headquarters posted this along with the announcement: “We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally. Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.”

     This announcement of course stirred up some controversy with the common accusation that wives and children are no longer safe in public bathrooms. If you’re claiming that these people are all predators, what about the ones that have been in the bathrooms with your sons, husbands, nephews, and grandkids for years? There has also been hundreds if not thousands of cases in the past of men following women into the bathroom to sexually abuse or rape them. How about we focus on those people instead of targeting innocent people that are just trying to go to the bathroom comfortably.

     The American Family Association has started a petition called “#BoycottTarget” in attempts to make them change the new policy. They have received over 1,000,000 pledges in their attempts. No matter how many they get, it is very unlikely that their plan will be successful, now that even more transgender people know they are welcomed and accepted in Targets everywhere. If anything, business should be getting better for the company.

     Gender neutral bathrooms serve more than one purpose. They also make it more comfortable for parents to go to the bathroom with young children of the opposite gender. As well as common caregivers who look after people of the opposite gender. Those other than transgender people benefit from this too. (Also, let’s not forget the fact that lines for the bathroom are usually ridiculously long and having more than one option would speed up that process a lot).

     These bathrooms also provide a safe and comfortable place for transgender people to use the restroom. A lot of the time when a transgender man or woman goes into the bathroom of their assigned gender, they are harassed or even physically attacked for being in the “wrong” bathroom. In a recent National Transgender Discrimination Survey, about 70% of respondents said they had faced some form of harassment while trying to simply go to the bathroom. It’s ironic that those who claim that transgender people are all sexual predators are the ones that seem to be causing the most harm.

     Not to mention the fact that transgender men and women can be (and have been) arrested for using the bathroom that they identify with. Even extremely right-winged and conservative, Donald Trump, recently stated, “transgender people should use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate.” Which is really saying something.

     There are very few major corporations that have developed these policies. Perhaps they can follow in Target’s footsteps and make the push for equality even bigger, providing equal opportunity and treatment of LBGTQ people all across the world. Although this is just one step towards a more peaceful world, it surely is making a huge difference in a lot of people’s lives and is making a major positive impact on the LGBTQ community as a whole.