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Right wingers call Macy’s transgender policy ‘theater of the absurd’

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The termination of a Macy’s employee who refused to uphold company policy in regards to LGBTQ rights has so-called family value christian groups angered.

Natalie Johnson was sacked from the Macy’s Rivercenter Mall store in San Antonio after she told a supervisor that she was unwilling to honor Macy’s LGBT policies because she felt by doing so would violate her religious beliefs.

Johnson told the American Family Association’s blog OneNewsNow that she observed a young man wearing women’s clothes and make-up exiting a women’s dressing room and politely told him he could not re-enter because it was for the exclusive use of women. She said he angrily responded that he was a “female.”

The cross-dresser was accompanied by five other individuals. The group argued with expletives that Macy’s is LGBT-friendly, to which Johnson replied that Macy’s is also non-discriminatory toward religion, and that it would go against her religious beliefs to lie to say that the young man was a woman or for her to compromise with homosexuality. The group then demanded to speak with a manager, according to OneNewsNow.

After being advised by a Macy’s supervisor that company policy allows transgender individuals to utilize any dressing room they may prefer, Johnson pointed out that the same policy also protects against religious discrimination and, in this case, it protects her right to her beliefs that were being violated.

The supervisor reportedly asked if Johnson intended to comply with Macy’s established policies, and when she refused, was later terminated.

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of the conservative right wing anti-gay Liberty Counsel, told OneNewsNow, “Macy’s policy which allows men to use the women’s dressing room is fraught with problems. This policy will cause significant problems and will alienate the majority of Macy’s customers.”

“Macy’s has essentially opened women’s dressing rooms to every man. The LGBT agenda has become the theater of the absurd,” Staver said.

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Filed under: Texas

57 more reader comments:

  1. The Right Wingers are the theater of the absurd. Dumbasses.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:41pm
  2. I never knew that Macy’s was so open-minded! Hey, at least I can use the dressing room there now without getting the evil eye.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:43pm
  3. *scoff* really?

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:44pm
  4. Oh it’s Texas, what a surprise.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:44pm
  5. Yay for being rediculous!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:44pm
  6. Macys doesnt want to piss off queer ppl..thats 90% of there customers and employees

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:45pm
  7. Those right wingers can go suck on my jingle bells. :)

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:46pm
  8. These people have to realize that Macy’s can’t have a standard for them AND the rest of us.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:46pm
  9. Wow good for Macys

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:46pm
  10. WTF Michael Lane quit following me!!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:48pm
  11. More of the religious right trying to make themselves the underdog and wanting special privileges granted so they can apply thier hatred without fear of retribution.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:49pm
  12. I would say she has the right to her beliefs, and Macies has the right to fire people who don’t fallow policy. If that policy violates your religion you shouldn’t be working there.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:49pm
  13. Interesting… at Kohl’s there is no Women’s and Men’s definded dressing rooms. Establishing non idendified areas might clear this issue right up.

    But reguardless, I am sick of people screaming religous rights in order to discriminate against others…

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:50pm
  14. This argument that Christians use to say they are persecuted by the LGBT crowd in this country pisses me off like no other.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:50pm
  15. I love how you refer to a possible MtF as “he” in this article.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:51pm
  16. I’ve experienced this type of reaction from Macy’s myself in 2000. I am an entertainer who had been to Macy’s before and was allowed to try on the gowns before I purchased them. However, the final time I visited Macy’s for this purpose, I had to find a nearby person to move the security tag from the top of the garment, (it was placed on carelessly to make it impossible to actually try on). The female working in the jeans department that I spoke to asked me to wait for a moment that she would need to ask if this was alright, even after I had explained that I had tried garments on before. Little did I know that she was actually contacting security. When security arrived, she turned her back to me and spoke to the security guard (quite disrespectful I might add), then the guard turned to me and asked me if I was a woman. I explained that I was an entertainer and that I couldn’t purchase the garments unless I had tried them on, to which he stated, “YOu can’t try those on here because this is the women’s Macys. You’ll need to shop at the Men’s department.” The two were separate due to the malls architecture. I asked him how I was to take these garments to the men’s Macy’s without shoplifting, and he said he didn’t care, just that I couldn’t try on the gowns there. I basically said that he just lost the store my business and the business of several others, but he said, “yeah right, you gays can take your business else where, I don’t care.” I dropped the gowns on the floor and left. I was so shocked that I didn’t even think to speak to management. I’m glad that Macy’s finally has their heads on, pardon the usage, straight.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:51pm
  17. hmm… I wonder if Liberty Counsel would pitch this kind of fit if it was the men’s dressing room in question.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:55pm
  18. She has a right to her beliefs but her religious freedom does not allow her to violate the other policies Macy’s has established. If I worked at Wal-Mart my religious beliefs don’t allow me to be rude to the customers or not match a price. This girl makes no sense. They can’t impair your religious beliefs not you forcing those beliefs on others.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:55pm
  19. i am sorry but bein gay has nothing to do with a MAN calling himself a WOMAN. HE/SHE was clearly in the wrong and should have followed directions and not reentered the dressing room. gays need to learn that WE are not the only ones who have rights and that OUR rights end where the rights of others begin. WOMEN (regardless of sexual orientation) have a RIGHT to dress in private, free from males whether they identify themselves as women or not, they are STILL male.

    that girls should NOT have been fired. she did NOTHING wrong!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:59pm
  20. Will be shopping Macys more often!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:00pm
  21. Christians are now bitching about what people wear? Will they ever stop? No, I didn’t think so either.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:05pm
  22. If she knew what Macy’s policies towards LGBT people was when she was hired, and agreed to be their employee and follow their policies, she doesn’t have a leg to stand on. She knew darn well what she was expected to do, and she decided to pull the “religious persecution” card when she suddenly can’t get her way. I’m glad they stood up for the LGBT community and stood by their policies. I would happily give Macy’s my business over other places because of this.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:12pm
  23. It is absurd! A woman being protected is more important than someone else’s rights. As for rights, if the LBGT lobby has the right to go into “any” restroom, then that’s discriminatory against any straight male who would prefer to use the ladies room as well. And who wouldn’t? It’s about 10x cleaner. I’m sure most women wouldn’t use the men’s room, regardless.

    But it opens up another door as well. Any “straight” guy (with another agenda) can NOW walk in the lady’s room and all he has to do is dress up like a gal. It’s ridiculous.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:13pm
  24. Go Macy’s!! You forever have my business!!! Guess I will start shopping there more now!!! And can she show me anywhere in the bible where it says what dressing room someone is supposed to use?? Being a Biggot is not a Christian value no matter how much they want to believe it!!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:17pm
  25. Darryl Johnson, you are out of line. This has nothing to do with anyone’s sexual orientation, “HE/SHE” is breathtakingly rude, and you have a lot of educating yourself to do on gender identity and gender expression.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:18pm
  26. ok now i know how the mens fitting rooms work and I have NEVER in my 33 years walked into a fitting room and even caught a glimpse of a naked man. What the hell does it really matter. No matter who you are, what your sex is or what it originality was…NO ONE IS WALKING AROUND NUDE and if they are arrest them for public indecency.

    Lord people walk a mile in there shoes.


    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:18pm
  27. Just noticed it was the dressing room and not the restroom. Not quite the same, but still serious. Protection is the first right. If I was a woman, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with a guy in the next stall….no matter what his preferences or identity concerns were.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:22pm
  28. @Darryl Johnson, dressing rooms have individual stalls with doors on them for individual privacy! I’m a woman and I don’t want other women looking at me and I don’t want to look at them either and I want privacy when I’m in the dressing room, again, that is why there are doors for each individual room in the dressing room!

    The rhetoric of “the rights of others end because the beginning of the rights of others begin” is equitable to the rhetoric by whites in the last century complaining that blacks were legally allowed to start drinking at the same fountains as whites and sit at the same counters at a diners as whites!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:22pm
  29. They had a policy, which their employee consented to when accepting a job there. Good for them for firing her. The Bible, I believe, also scoffs at adultery and alcoholism. When Christians start wanting to discriminate against alcoholics and promiscuous housewives, they still wouldn’t have my support, but I would at least honor their consistancy.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:37pm
  30. Joe: 1, you’re not a woman so don’t speak for us. 2: I used to clean public toilets, trust me: men are MUCH cleaner then women. 3. The person in question, is a woman where all points are concerned except in genitalia. So, would you suggest we make everyone pull down there pants or lift up their skirts to prove their gender?

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:45pm
  31. Ms. Johnson has every right to abide by her religious belief — she doesn’t need to use the men’s room. But where does she, and her ilk, get off by saying that their attempts to dictate other people’s behaviour being foiled is somehow a violation of their religious belief? Why can’t people just mind their own business? This poor beleaguered Christian martyr act is getting old.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:48pm
  32. I think it would be best to have non-gender specific dressing rooms. I have no problem with transcended people, but I agree that if a store has gender-specific dressing rooms/ rest rooms, a person should be required to use the one that matches their genitalia. I don’t think this has anything to do with religious beliefs. But it’s true that any man could just waltz into a women’s dressing room or restroom if he just dresses like a woman, and for all you know he might have creepy altering motives. I bring up the bathrooms because I don’t think the dressing rooms are quite as big a deal. Mainly because they do make dressing rooms that are non gender specific, and because I’ve had a creepy man stalk me into a bathroom before… Who’s to say that a rapist won’t go to the extent of dressing as a woman to get someone. It’s ridiculous. If you have a penis, and a door is labeled, go to the one that implies you need a penis.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:59pm
  33. What Amber said, TIMES TEN.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 5:18pm
  34. I will make sure to buy something from Macy’s this holiday season.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 5:18pm
  35. Amber and Joe: I am a female, and I know plenty of females who would feel that way. I understand Macy’s has these policies and if she doesn’t like them she can leave, which is what she did. But the bigger issue at hand is the policy. This means that any man so long as he dresses like a woman and calls himself a woman will be allowed into Macy’s women’s dressing room so he can do as he wishes. That is not okay.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 5:27pm
  36. Constantly hearing people assume that transgender people are gay/lesbian is just getting old. Just imagine if every adult had to go through a small basic information training for all sorts of cultures, religions, and LGBTQ-related topics in order to become a full-fledged citizen. All you would have to do is learn what other people believe and pass with 90% or better. I’m talking about elementary school difficulty. It wouldn’t even be that hard. America would have to be at least 100% smarter afterwards.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 6:26pm
  37. Yay Macy’s. Always has been my favorite store!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 6:50pm
  38. Natalie can go find a another fucking job that doesn’t insult her obvious narrow minded religious views. I certainly would not hire her. If you can’t be open minded and see equality in all, then she deserves what she gets, which is a kick in the ass on the way out the back door.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 7:02pm
  39. oh lets see now the christians feel they shouldn’t have to follow company policies. talk about special treatments. if I don’t follow my company policy, they would let me go. it means i will not fit within the culture of the company.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 7:02pm
  40. @Amber you are my effen hero!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 7:06pm
  41. Change rooms need to be reassigned to be gender neutral. They need to be bigger, have a mirror in them and end of problem.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 7:07pm
  42. @ Michelle – I am sorry to hear that you have had problems with men following you into the bathroom but harassing, spying on, stalking and especially raping someone is still illegal and no one is claiming those laws should be changed. If a woman, man or a trans person does these things in a bathroom or change room they can be arrested.

    And from the sounds of it, your story already proves that having a female or male sign does not protect you if someone wants to do something; so what is gained by making trans people suffer?

    More importantly I always find these discussions funny because no one who says “I don’t want trans women in womens spaces” seems to realize that means trans men, in all their hairy, bald and/or bearded selves, will be following you into the womens room. Personally I would rather trans men stay where they belong, in the mens room.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 8:11pm
  43. @Michelle and Amanda. The “creepy rapist dressing up as a woman” has been used against transwomen for years and years and years and yet no one has credibly come forward to report that a straight male has actually done that. Ever. It’s a deliberate manipulation of YOUR fear of transpeople and fear of difference in general. It’s insulting to transwomen and should be insulting to your intelligence, but apparently it’s not.

    That creepy MAN who followed you, Michelle, was clearly MALE. Your speculation is unfounded. If the Brian de Palma fantasy of Dressed to Kill it had ever happened in a bathroom it would have been all over the media.

    There are some pretty butch biological women out there too. Are you bathroom policing them too?

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 10:45pm
  44. Dude, it’s not like they all dress together, they each get separate areas just like normal dressing rooms.

    She should have been fired. If you didn’t obey policies at your work, wouldn’t get fired? We all would. Policies – whether we agree with them or not – are to be followed.

    That’s called “work”. It’s how we make “money”. Maybe God could have a sit-down talk with Macy’s about their policy and work out what’s right. Oh wait – maybe He already did.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 10:55pm
  45. oh the right wing….how we love them…

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 11:13pm
  46. @Joe, I would love to see straight men dress up as women in order to go to Macy’s to use the women’s dressing rooms. Like that’ll happen. lol

    Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 11:24pm
  47. It’s hard to read some of these comments that have so much ignorance for the sensibilities and desires of transsexuals and just gender identity in general.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 12:07am
  48. omg yeah the rebuplacans shuld jus eat som chiken wings lol

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 7:14am
  49. Seriously though Macy’s should have just relocated her to an area without fitting rooms… then she is not compromising anything, nor is macy’s violating any policies!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 2:44pm
  50. Awesome job Natalie!! Just because he DRESSES as a woman, does not MAKE him a woman. He is still a MAN dressed in a WOMAN’S clothes. I could say I want to be a bird and make myself wings but that doesn’t mean I would be able to fly. No LADY wants a man to come into their dressing room, or restroom, just because he says or dresses or acts like a woman. He’s still a man. That would make me feel very unsafe to have every Tom, Dick or Harry deciding he wants to use the ladies room. I work at Macy’s, just glad I don’t work in clothing. Hurrah for Natalie!! You go girl!!

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 4:39pm
  51. UH! Joe,

    Taking your last statement to a comperable level. Have you ever been to an outdoor event??? You know, where they have those plastic toilets lined up side by side??? Well sir I would say at least some times when you step into one of them, there will be a member of the oppoiste sex in one of the ones next to you. Fix that for me if you please.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 9:37pm
  52. Good on Macys. The christian wrong assumes trans people have deviant sexual persuations and in my experience more republicans assault little boys and have bathroom sexual encounters than I as a androgyne have ever seen. Sorry 90+% of trans people are hetro! Just is the way it is. I walk into Macys dressing room endrab to try on a dress and no one seems to care. I am not in there to leer, spy, anything weird. I want to see if the dress FITS. They are not cheap, and yes I wear panties and a slip under my male clothing. Yes I have male parts between my legs but was BORN all women between the ears. Been this way all my life. It is not a choice. You cannot change your haircolor, place of birth, your height, gender expression. Those who claim Christ as “christians” really need to think if Jesus Himself would be sooo rude. Didn’t think so. “Blessed are ALL who come before me”

    Posted on Friday, December 9, 2011 at 9:36pm
  53. You act like men are evil, aren’t you a man? BTW the customer identifies as a woman and should be treated as such including using proper pronouns. Also, would any MAN who is a predator or peeping tom, dress up with full make-up, under and over garments of a woman to pursue yjeir designs. Finally there has not been ANY documented cases of a transgender woman attacking a woman in a dressing room, NOT 1. Therefore your arguments are baseless, and are based on “perceived” sterotyping. She want fired due to her religious beliefs, she was fired for failing to follow Macy’s policies. I’m out!!!

    Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 11:07am
  54. It’s time for BELIEVING Jews, Christians & Muslims to join together – Strength in Numbers!! If not, I see this world becoming a giant cesspool of Sin and Free Sex with anybody/everybody and one big dressing room and toilets for All. How are kids supposed to grow up to not be seriously messed up.

    Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 11:11am
  55. What I find ridiculous is the idea that restricting a bathroom or dressing room to a single biological gender eliminates danger and prevents a person from seeking to force themselves sexually on another. Anybody ever heard of homosexuality? I am a heterosexual crossdresser who spends most of his life dressed masculinely. So many people seem worried that I and other transgendered people want to attack women in the women’s rest room. I go in there when crossdressed to avoid being attacked in the men’s room. Frankly, since women’s rooms have only stalls, they are much safer than men’s rooms with urinals. I can’t remember how many times (while dressed as a man) I have been propositioned in the men’s room. I definitely cannot count the times I saw another man looking at or trying to look at my genitals.

    @Julia, Thank you for mentioning that transmen would have to use women’s rooms if we forced everyone to use the room their genitals or genes dictated. Women, who would scare you more a crossdresser who does not pass but is trying to be discreet or a bearded female to male transexual who is pissed off because he has to use the ladies’ room?

    Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 2:00am
  56. I think I just found a new place to shop! :)

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 8:46am
  57. @ Darlene; I could tell the world that I want to be Darlene, and stick my head up my butt, but I still wouldn’t be you either… The store is simply recognizing humans that are different and treating them like humans anyway. If you want to be a bird and tape wings on your back; you’re right, you won’t be able to fly… but I won’t stop you from trying!

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 8:52am