KEIZER, Ore. -- Target has made it clear. Transgender people who shop at the retail chain are welcome to use restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.
But not everyone likes the idea. Someone posted a controversial sign in the woman's restroom at a Target in Keizer over the weekend.
“I was very shocked when I first saw it,” said Nathalie Olds, who found the sign Sunday afternoon.
It reads “Attention ladies, Target Corp has publically announced that men may now use the women's restroom (and vice versa) no questions asked.”
The sign goes on to tell people to be cautious of hidden cameras or peeping individuals, and to be especially cautious if anyone wants to let kids or teens go into the restroom alone.
Olds said at first she was a little confused.
“I took it as fact. Heterosexual cisgender men were allowed in the bathroom now,” said Olds.
But then, she found out more about Target's policy that says it allows transgender people to use the restroom corresponding with their gender identity. That's when Olds got angry at whoever posted the sign.
“I realized it was obviously somebody who was transphobic or somebody who wanted to basically state that transgender women are men and that's not ok with me,” she said.
It's not ok with Andrea Zekis either.
“I belong in a women's restroom because I'm a woman,” said Zekis.
Zekis said as a transgender woman, she just wants what everyone else wants, a restroom that's safe and private.
“It'd be completely inappropriate for me to use the men’s room. So I see that as someone who just doesn’t understand transgender people and their experiences,” Zekis said.
She and other advocates said transgender people often face discrimination and violence.
“Signs like what we’ve seen in Keizer create an even more hostile climate for transgender people who are among the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Jeana Frazzini, co-executive director for Basic Rights Oregon.
Zekis said depression and suicide in the transgender community are very real issues.
“The hate and misunderstanding towards transgender people has a cost and it's in the lives of young people and it's the lives of people who don’t have a place,” said Zekis. “That language you saw in that bathroom is telling some trans people that they don't belong."
A Target spokesperson said they're trying to find out who put up the sign.
Meanwhile, Olds said she won't be shopping at the Target in Keizer until she knows it wasn't a Target employee who put the sign up.