In April 2016, a blurry photograph purportedly showing two urinals that had been installed in a women’s bathroom at a Target retail store in Los Angeles spread widely on Facebook. The picture was posted amidst debate over the chain’s announced policy of allowing transgender individuals to use restrooms of their choosing:
In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.
Outrage over the policy quickly spread on social media, with the American Family Association starting a “Boycott Target Pledge” which quickly garnered more than a half million signatures. But although some consumers have genuine concerns over Target’s policy of allowing transgender individuals to use the restrooms that correspond with their gender identities, the online outrage has also spurred a number of transphobic and baseless items spread via social media.
For instance, the above-displayed picture has nothing to do with Target’s restroom policy. The image was not taken in a women’s restroom at a Los Angeles Target store (rather a men’s room that was undergoing repair or refurbishment) and makes little sense given that individuals of any gender can use stalls for their bathroom needs, but urinals are not generally suitable for women.
Target has also affirmatively denied any plans to install urinals in their women’s restrooms: