Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
Se Pasó is a daily opinion column where Vivianna tackles entertainment, news, and pop culture with her bold and fearless voice. In other words, she says exactly what you are thinking.
A conservative group called The American Family Association (AFA) is sending men into women's restrooms at Target stores in response to the chain announcing that they will now allow people to use the restroom corresponding with their gender identity. Target's new policy is a significant milestone for the transgender community, especially with all the recent anti-LGBT laws. But it looks like some folks are really missing the point here.
The American Family Association, a conservative Christian
activist group, isn't comfortable with Target's inclusive transgender bathroom
policy. It has accumulated nearly 1 million signatures from people pledging
to boycott the new policy. According to them the policy "means a man can
simply say he 'feels like a woman today and enter the women's restroom . . . even if young girls or women are already in there."
They've even used the imaginary predator excuse, claiming that by allowing transgender individuals to use whichever bathroom they choose, we are putting women and young girls at risk for sexual assault. This is nonsense. Predators are straight, bi, and gay. Seriously?
"Target's policy is exactly how sexual predator get access to their victims," it says on their official site. "And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go? Clearly, Target's new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters."
Not only does the AFA not understand the importance and significance of Target's new policy but it clearly don't understand the dangers this can pose for the transgender community.
In March, North Carolina's governor signed House Bill 2, a controversial bill that banned transgenders from using public bathrooms of the sex they identify as. It's a law that not only excludes, stigmatizes, and marginalizes transgender individuals but touches on dangerous stereotypes that all transgenders are sex offenders. Imagine how this could impact young transgender kids trying to use the restroom at school?
The bottom line: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that enforces workplace antidiscrimination laws, has made it abundantly clear that blocking workers from using bathrooms "corresponding to the employee's gender identity" is a form of sex discrimination that violates federal law.