Target is pretty much a mom favorite–if it wasn’t yours yet, it just may be now. They officially took a stand on inclusivity by announcing that all Target staff and customers are permitted to use the restroom or fitting room that corresponds with their gender identity. Can we get a resounding yes and round of applause?
In a statement on their website, Target said they are dedicated to “equality and equity,” stating:
“Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It’s something we celebrate… We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally.
Given the specific questions legislative proposals raise about how we manage our fitting rooms and restrooms, we felt it was important to state our position. Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.”
It’s especially significant that this statement was released among many controversial proposals to restrict transgender people from using the facilities of their choice, such as a North Carolina bill signed into law in March that actually requires transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificates, not what they identify as currently.
Of course, Target’s announcement was met with backlash from customers on their Facebook page–here is an example of some of the hate: “I’ve spent my last dollar at Target. My wife and children aren’t safe using the restrooms there. Dumb move, Target.”
This isn’t the first time Target’s policy has reflected inclusivity, such as phasing out gendered advertising and creating a gender neutral bedding line. While it may just seem like a marketing tactic for the company to make this kind of public announcement, I believe it’s important for major companies to stand behind the transgender and LGBTQ community by accepting people for who they are, and attempting to create a safer, more equal space.
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Joanna Valente is the former Staff Writer at Kveller. Joanna is the author of Sirs & Madams, The Gods Are Dead, Xenos, and Marys of the Sea, and received an MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. You can follow @joannasaid on Twitter and @joannacvalente on Instagram.