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Businesses across North Carolina join map of ‘safe bathrooms’ in response to transgender law

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Businesses owners across North Carolina have added their businesses to a map of “safe bathrooms” in response to House Bill 2, which was signed into law last week by Gov. Pat McCrory.

The new law, also called the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, was passed in response to Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance that allowed transgender individuals to use public bathrooms of the sex with which they identify.

Emily Waggoner, who lives in Boston, created a Google map to show businesses that have publicly stated that their bathrooms are safe for transgender individuals.

For Waggoner, who is originally from Raleigh, and her partner, who is from Greensboro, the new law really hit home.

“Personally, my partner and I both were saddened and devastated,” Waggoner said. “But that quickly turned to hopeful and joyful once we started to get flooded with requests from businesses to get added to the map.”

Several of those businesses on the map are located right here in the Triad.

Businesses have been tweeting and emailing Waggoner to be added to the map. Each business is required to include some sort of documentation showing their supportive stance as an ally. On the map, Waggoner notes that the documentation could be anything from a mission statement to a link to a public social media post where the business has shown its support.

“The public declaration is important because we want to make sure they  [the businesses] have demonstrated their status as an ally and are held accountable in some way,” she said.

Waggoner said one of their friends, Avery Dickerson, who owns the Greensboro clothing company Deconstruct inspired the idea for the map. Dickerson began posting photos on Instagram of local businesses whose owners were opposed to the new law.

From there, Waggoner said she and her partner decided to make the map as a way to provide a resource to their North Carolina friends. Since the map was picked up by BuzzFeed and other news sources, it has become a way to give visibility to the businesses who are demonstrating their opposition to the transgender law.

Waggoner said since she posted the map, support has been pouring in from everywhere.

“I’ve been getting dozens of emails from business owners every day wanting to get added to the map, as well as tweets and Facebook messages,” she said. “Lots of citizens of North Carolina have reached out to recommend places that they’ve been that have safe bathrooms, which I’ll follow-up on and verify. It’s been incredible to see so many people come together for this.”

To see which businesses in the area have transgender-friendly bathrooms, click on the toilet paper icons. From there, the map shows the name of the business as well as documentation of their stance as allies.

National backlash

The new law has led many officials from other states to ban all non-essential publicly funded travel to North Carolina.

Tuesday Attorney General Roy Cooper held a press conference to announce he will not defend the law in court. McCrory responded to Cooper’s announcement in a YouTube video.

Cooper, in response to the video, released the following statement:

“It is unfortunate that Governor McCrory has decided to mislead North Carolinians about the facts of this law. His new law clearly strikes down protections that existed for employees of state agencies, universities, and local government across the state.

“Instead of misleading North Carolinians, he should do his job, focus on repealing this law, and reverse the damage being done to our economy.”