Denny’s restaurants in Maine will now allow patrons and employees to use the correct restrooms in accordance with their gender identity.
In 2007 Brianna Freeman, a transgender woman and frequent customer of her local Maine Denny’s, sued Denny’s after the manager told her that she could no longer use the women’s bathroom. The manager denied Freeman bathroom use because she had not had sex reassignment surgery.
For many transgender people using the restroom that matches their gender identity is another vital step in the transition process, often recommended by their doctors. For Freeman, it was no different. Freeman presents as female and wears women’s clothing, makeup, jewelry and perfume.
After a court battle led by Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), Denny’s made the decision in March 2011 to make a fair bathroom policy. The official policy was formally announced on Monday, July 11th.
NCTE has done work on changing restroom policies and as a result of their work with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, restaurants that have single stall facilities in Washington DC must make their facilities gender-neutral.
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