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Taking A Stand On Transgender Facilities

I was recently helped by a transgender Genius in a New Jersey Apple Store.

It never occurred to me to ask which restroom she used. My only thought, besides getting my iPhone fixed, was how brave she was to be herself in this not particularly progressive part of the Garden State.

Since then, the national debate over transgender access to public facilities has been settled, at least within Target stores. The No. 2 discount chain has taken an open-door stance on the issue, which was sparked by restrictive legislation in North Carolina.

“We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity,” the company said in a statement.

Target said it was merely reiterating, rather than establishing, its inclusivity policy, which it described as a core belief and “something we celebrate.”

“Everyone deserves to feel like they belong,” the retailer told its customers in a separate and succinct blog. “And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed here.”

Target’s commitment to inclusiveness is reflective of its headquarters town of Minneapolis. Writing in a LinkedIn post about his recent relocation there, the company’s newly named internal innovations and operations VP West Stringfellow noted that the Twin Cities, besides having “a ton of microbreweries,” is among the Top 10 most LGBT-friendly towns in the nation.

Related: Paying tribute to Minneapolis’ gender-blending hometown hero

Whether or not that spirit has also informed transgender policy at fellow Minneapolis mass merchant Best Buy remains unclear. TWICE has requested its position on the issue, as it did of Wal-Mart Stores and Apple, and will report their responses when and if we receive them.

It shouldn’t be tough to decide. Even Donald Trump — he of building bridges and blocking Muslims — believes that people should go where they prefer. “There have been very few complaints the way it is,” he told an NBC “Today” show crowd in New York. “People go. They use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate.”


Update: Day Four and still no word from Apple, Best Buy or Wal-Mart.