This Employee's Facebook Post Shows What Target's Bathroom Policy Is Really About

May 1st 2016

Aron Macarow

A transgender Target employee is going viral for his Facebook post that exposes the discriminatory comments he faces on a daily basis.

This is Maxwell Jamison.

Image of Maxwell Jamison

Last week, he posted on Facebook about Target's new inclusive bathroom and fitting room policy.

Target employee Maxwell Jamison posts about the new transgender-inclusive bathroom policy on Facebook.

In his post, which now has 27,000 likes and more than 8,000 shares, Jamison explains why the new bathroom policy matters to Target employees and shoppers, and how the backlash against the policy has affected transgender Target team members like himself.

Target announced their inclusive bathroom policy on April 19th.

Target Pride

The new policy allows, "transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity," according to Target's official announcement.

But, there's been a backlash.

The large retail chain's support for trans inclusive public facilities has come under attack on social media via a #BoycottTarget campaign as well as through less expected means — like these bizarre, confrontational videos made by cisgender (non-transgender) straight men who go into Target women's restrooms in an effort to prove a point about women's safety.

Jamison's Facebook post responds to all of them. In it, he includes a photo of himself in a men's restroom while on shift at Target with a heartfelt explanation of why the retail chain's support is important, writing:

"So, here I am, in the men's restroom at Target, a trans man, standing up for my trans siblings out there who've had to listen and read the same bullshit I've been experiencing. Know that for every negative thought some bigot has had about us, there are other gender-dismantling folks out there standing up for our right to use whatever restroom we please, in Target, in restaurants, in shopping malls, wherever. Stand up for your right to gain access to relieve basic human functions and feel safe doing so. Trans ladies, use the women's restroom with pride, check out your cute blouse in a mirror without fearing for your safety. Trans guys, don't feel ashamed waiting for a stall to open up. Gender queers, go, and I mean GO, wherever you feel fits your vibe that day."

He also shows another face of the transgender bathroom debate by giving us a view of what it's like to be a trans employee at Target at at a time when many are expressing such public hostility toward the chain's new policy. The Arizona resident explains:

"Over the past week since Target announced their inclusive restroom policy following the North Carolina bathroom bill, I've had to endure multiple conversations regarding what rights trans people deserve, these comments coming from the guests at my store, my fellow coworkers, and even a few of my supervisors. I have been told that trans people ought to use 'the bathroom that matches their junk,' that a 'man in a dress' is going to sexually assault everyone's daughters, our store has been threatened and cursed out by guests, and the amount of rampant transphobia that's taken place in store and online this past week has been nauseating."

I can partially empathize.

Since safe bathroom access for transgender and gender non-conforming people has become a newsworthy topic over the last few months, I've also been party to many conversations and social media posts that I would rather not. I've also had many conversations with friends and strangers about where transgender people should and should not be allowed to go to the restroom — some of them without the other person even being aware that they're talking to someone who is transgender, while they tell me that trans women are a threat or that transgender people are causing the problem themselves by simply being who they are.

So I couldn't agree more with Jamison when he calls on trans and gender varient people to not "let some shitlord's comment on a Facebook news post about North Carolina dictate where you pee." And based on the outpouring of support on Facebook and Twitter, it seems that there are many others who support our right to pee in peace as well: