Los Angeles Vanguard Weekly Blog

One Woman Just Changed Walgreens (and the World)

What happened to Jessie Meehan on her way to LA Pride last year won’t likely be happening to anyone else in Los Angeles or at any of Walgreen’s 8,000 stores nationwide.

Meehan was shopping at a Walgreens in Hollywood and when she asked to use the women’s restroom a clerk “told me I looked like a man and needed to use the men’s room.” 

Humiliated and upset, an “extremely uncomfortable” Meehan was forced to use the men’s restroom.

“I had to go so I didn’t put up much of a fight and used the stall while the men used the urinals next to me,” Meehan wrote in an email to the company.

Mehan continued on the the Pride festival and immediately sought out a booth staffed by the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

ACLU SoCal Staff Attorney Amanda Goad began discussions with Walgreens that led to a new policy announced this week.

“All individuals have a right to use restroom facilities that correspond to the individual’s gender identity,” the company said in a statement. 

Goad points out that California law protects every person’s right to access restrooms based on their gender identity in workplaces, schools, and business establishments.

 "It’s important for businesses to make sure their employees understand that requirement, just like Walgreens is now doing, because Jessie Meehan had the courage to stand up for her rights,” she said.

Published February 05, 2018

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