Target Takes Stand on Transgender Bathrooms, Receives Immediate Backlash
Target formally released its new transgender bathroom policy Tuesday, but it didn’t take long for a backlash from upset customers to flood the store’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
In a press release, the retailer announced its new policy saying, “We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity. Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.”
“Inclusivity is a core belief at Target,” the company statement continued. “It’s something we celebrate. We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day.”
Since it is headquartered in Minnesota, the corporation was specifically speaking out against a proposed state law intended to prevent transgendered people from using bathrooms that do no fit their biological gender.
“Given the specific questions these legislative proposals raised about how we manage our fitting rooms and restrooms, we felt it was important to state our position,” the statement reads.
Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder also claimed the new policy statement is just a confirmation of a policy it was already observing. “It’s a restatement of a policy,” she said. “It’s just us being very overt in stating it.”
But almost immediately, customers and potential customers spoke out against Target’s “restatement” of its policy.
Customer Sandy Bell Small, for one, went to Facebook to slam Target.
“Why would you choose to allow men in the women’s restroom when every single store has a single family restroom that can easily accommodate your Transgender customers?” Small wrote. “Way to go Target for choosing to protect the .03% of the ADULT transgender population over your women, children, mothers, grandchildren, teenager population. I’m sure you will say you (no) longer miss us but I’m sure the $$$’s spent weekly will be felt somewhere.”
Among the many comments, some Facebook users told Target they would never shop at the retailer again, while others said they feared for the safety of their loved ones.
Liz Ammons reminded Target that its policy isn’t made without dangerous consequences by posting the story of a pervert who was arrested after harassing girls in a Walmart bathroom.
A commenter named Laura Prater put it most succinctly:
“Dear Target, I am not one to treat others cruel,” Prater wrote on the store’s Facebook page. “However in your desire to be inclusive, you have failed to be inclusive to women and children. If anything change all your bathrooms and changing rooms to single stall. Perhaps you missed the recent news story in Washington State where a man kept filming women. Perhaps you have missed the other news stories where folks have used this as a way to bring harm? You need to seriously reconsider this decision. You are not above the laws to protect ALL your guests, not just the LGBT community.”
A few commenters, though, supported Target’s decision to allow people who claim to be transgender to use any bathroom they feel like using, with person saying they had never shopped at Target before, but now would because of the company’s policy.
Facebook wasn’t the only social media platform used to criticize Target’s bathroom policy. Twitter also erupted with complaints.