Store's Unisex Bathroom Draws Attention

| by Sheena Vasani

A Georgia grocery store captured national attention after one person’s Facebook photo featuring its unisex bathroom went viral.

The Kroger grocery store in Athens, Georgia, posted the sign to better serve its LGBT customers, but also fathers with daughters, mothers with sons, those taking care of mentally or physically disabled elderly parents.

“We have a UNISEX bathroom because sometimes gender specific toilets put others into uncomfortable situations," the sign reads. "And since we have a lot of our friends coming to see us, we want to provide a better place for our friends."

Facebook user Tonya Owens uploaded the photo of the sign, adding “Nice job Kroger.”

The post had been shared more than 54,000 times in two days and liked by 38,000 people, with many praising the move.

It’s not the first time unisex bathrooms have caught national attention in recent weeks.

In North Carolina, a bill was signed into law on March 23 that mandates "single-sex public restrooms and locker rooms in publicly run facilities be restricted to people of the same corresponding birth sex," reports BuzzFeed News. This bans transgender students from school restrooms that match their gender identity, which may violate federal law.

Those who backed the bill cite safety as a concern, with John Rustin, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, stating, “men could enter women restrooms and locker rooms -- placing the privacy, safety, and dignity of women and the elderly at great risk.”

Others call out these statements for being misleading and offensive. “I am a transgender male, and I am not a threat to you,” said Reverend Mykal Slack. “I go to work every day and go to church every Sunday.”

Many point out that transgender women are notoriously the target of hate-motivated assaults.

“A female friend of mine was punched in face exiting the women restroom by someone who thought she had been in the wrong bathroom,” said Alex McNeill, a transgender man who lives in North Carolina, reports BuzzFeed News.

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