Mater Dei High School

Opinion: Target’s new restroom policy

Target combated the wave of anti-transgender legislation being passed all around the country lately by enforcing a policy that allows “transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity,” according to Target’s official announcement. Better yet, this policy includes every Target in the United States, which is nearing 1,800 stores.

“This policy allows me to use the restroom that I feel I’ll be comfortable and safe in,” said 20-year-old Joss Echavarri, a transgender male. “With all the problems I’ve had in the past trying to use the women’s restroom, it’s just a lot easier to use the men’s restroom.”

In a Facebook post with over 27,000 likes, a transgender Target employee named Maxwell Jamison exposes the hateful comments he receives on a daily basis and explains why the new bathroom policy is so vital to the safety and comfort of trans people.

“Know that for every negative thought some bigot has had about us, there are other gender dismantling folks out there standing up for our right to use whatever restroom we please, in Target, in restaurants, in shopping malls, wherever,” wrote Jamison.

Unfortunately, even though this feels like great news, Target’s support for trans inclusive restrooms has been under the attack of Christian conservative group, American Family Association (AFA).

AFA called for a boycott against Target because “Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims” that has over 1.2 million signatures. Supposedly, this legislature is meant to protect young women from male predators, despite the fact that there are no reported cases in existence of a transgender person attacking anyone in a bathroom.

“There’s no evidence of that ever happening in the past, so there’s no basis for their fear,” said Kayden Strauss, a 16-year-old transgender male. “I personally think they’re basically pulling it out of thin air.”

What AFA and other bigots don’t realize is that they would be doing more damage by not letting transgender people use the restroom in coordination with their gender.

“They’re afraid of grown men being in the bathroom with their daughters. But that’s the thing, it’s not grown men being in the bathroom with their daughters, it would be grown women,” says Echavarri.

Thanks to Target, transgender people gave just gained almost 1,800 places where it’s safe to use the restroom.

“Everyone deserves to feel like they belong,” the company emphasized in its public announcement.

Why should the transgender community be denied a basic human right?

“Bathrooms and changing rooms are something that everyone should feel safe and comfortable using,” said Riley Lynch, a 16-year-old non-binary transgender person.

I couldn’t agree more with those in favor of Target’s trans inclusive restroom policy. Even with some backlash, this has been awesome and progressive news, and it’s great to see the transgender community and its allies come together to move forward as a society.