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Charlotte Transgender Woman Documents LGBT Friendly Restrooms

Sara Delia

It’s been almost three weeks since the passage of House Bill 2, which prohibits discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. It also requires transgender people use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate.

Still, nothing prohibits local businesses from having their own policies.  One Charlotte transgender woman set out to find where she can and cannot use the restroom since the passage of HB2. WFAE’s Sarah Delia has more.

The week HB2 passed the North Carolina General Assembly was a difficult one for the LGBT community which includes 69-year-old Janice Covington Allison. One immediate question she had was if she could use the ladies room in local establishments, especially ones she often frequented. Before the passage of HB2, walking into the women’s restroom wasn’t something she gave a second thought.

So, she started to ask some questions whenever she was out.  

"When I go into a restaurant I don’t assume I can use the ladies room. So the first thing they ask me is how many is your party and I say one or two, whoever is with me. But first I need to know if I need to use the ladies room when I’m here and having diner, can I use the ladies room?" she says.  

If the answer to that question is no, she’d leave. If it’s yes, she’d not only stay but also add the business’s name and information to a website she’s created called justaskandtell.com.

Sarah Delia covers criminal justice and the arts for WFAE. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.