All this talk about Target announcing its transgender policy is giving me irritable bowel syndrome.

The American Family Association issued a boycott of Target, and as of last week, nearly 200,000 people had signed the petition, after Target announced it would welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.

Inclusion is one of the nine Dimensions of a Healthy Community as defined by the Blandin Foundation. Newspapers across the state of Minnesota can learn about it through the Editors and Publishers training, which the Aitkin Age attended this past year.

Target is a Minnesota-based corporation and weighed in on the transgender issue, a topic which some states have also passed bills for or against transgender rights.

Transgenders should be allowed to use whatever public bathroom they like. In my 34 years, there has not been an incident in a public restroom where I’ve felt my privacy has been violated. Having two young children, there have been plenty of times I’ve sent them into a public bathroom on their own. I’ve never worried about them being molested or violated. My only worry is that they don’t flush the toilet and wash their hands.

My feelings won’t change the next time I am in Target. Or anywhere else that allows transgenders to use the restroom of their sexual identity. Long gone are the days of the Metrodome and urinating in a trough on the wall, standing elbow-to-elbow with other men who may or may not be voyeurs/predators/etc.

Allowing a transgender access to a shower or locker room is a whole different matter. Until there is sufficient evidence that transgenders are welcome in an opposite sex’s locker room, there should not be anyone sharing a public shower space with the opposite sex. Just because I have man boobs doesn’t mean I fit in with the ladies and should shower in their space.

Bathrooms are still a place for a private activity. There are stalls and partitions between toilets and urinals. If someone wants to take a peek at you, it’s not because they’re transgender. It’s because they’re a pedophile or voyeur and they should, and likely would, be punished.

So, for now, I’ll continue to shop at Target, where I can pick up my MiraLax and use the restroom in peace.

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