ACLU

Walgreen’s Changes Bathroom Policy After Cis Woman Barred From Ladies Room

Jessie Meehan says she's been discriminated because of her appearance all her life.

Walgreens has adopted a company-wide policy allowing customers to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

Last summer, Jessie Meehan purchased $20 worth of items at a Sunset Boulevard Walgreens on her way to L.A. Pride. But when she asked to use the bathroom, Meehan, who is not transgender, was told she looked masculine and had to use the men’s room.

ACLU

Meehan contacted Walgreens management about the incident, even offering to help train staff to handle situations like this better in the future. She says she frequents the store because the company has LGBT-friendly policies. (In 2016, HRC named the ubiquitous drug store the Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality.) But two months later, after no response, Meehan contacted ACLU of Southern California, which sent a letter to Walgreens explaining that California law “protects every person’s right to access restrooms based on their gender identity in workplaces, schools and business establishments.”

The company agreed and created a new “Transgender Inclusion” policy in November that affects all 8,000 Walgreens nationwide.

“All individuals have a right to use restroom facilities that correspond to the individual’s gender identity, regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth,” it reads in part. “Walgreens family of companies subscribes to a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression/presentation.”

In the video below Meehan explains she’s been discriminated against her whole life because of her gender presentation, but this time she felt she had to do something about it.
 

Greg Cwik is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared in EW, Vulture, Playboy, The Week, and elsewhere.