retailers are showing their support for transgender customers

This International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, several major chains are letting all their customers know they're welcome.

by Wendy Syfret
18 May 2016, 3:00am

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This Tuesday was International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and world leaders and businesses used it as an opportunity to reiterate their support for the LGBT community. In Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced a new bill specifically aimed at supporting the rights of trans people. Across the border President Obama recognised the ongoing obstacles facing the LGBT community saying: "There is much work to be done to combat homophobia and transphobia, both at home and abroad. In too many places, LGBT individuals grow up forced to conceal or deny who they truly are for fear of persecution, discrimination and violence."

Their declarations of support were shadowed by the ongoing US focused discussion around transgender rights in public bathrooms. A conversation rooted in North Carolina, where legislation currently forces trans people to use bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate. 

But despite the rampant discrimination several retailers have also stepped up to vocally make their support of LGBT communities clear. J. C. Penney reiterated their commitment, telling WWD they're "focused on creating a positive and inclusive shopping environment for all customers." Continuing they added, "We monitor our bathrooms and fitting rooms to ensure that they are clean and functional, while respecting the safety and privacy of every individual."

Their declaration followed Target's invitation last month for transgender team members and guests "to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity."

The GAP also pledged a zero tolerance policy for discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in the workplace. In an email to WWD they wrote, "This includes a practice of allowing employees and customers to select which bathroom they will use that corresponds to their gender identity."

Disappointingly, not all shoppers mirror their support. Since their statements in April, the American Family Association has called for a boycott of Target stores. The chain is hardly loosing sleep over it though. Last week CEO Brian Cornell told CNBC, "We took a stance and we're going to continue to embrace our belief of diversity and inclusion".


Test Wendy Syfret
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Transgender rights