Shortly after graduating from college in 1980, I worked in “fine dresses” in a large department store in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. On one particularly slow Saturday, a customer walked over from the juniors department holding up a floral skirt and a tube top and said, “They told me to come over here to try this on.” I showed him to the fitting room.
Other than the fact that he was wearing dangling earrings and red lipstick, he looked like any other shy, insecure teen-ager. At the time, my world view was quite narrow. I had never heard the word “transgender” or imagined that there was anything other than what I knew. Within minutes security appeared, crawling on the floor trying to peer under the partition of the fitting room. I can’t imagine what they expected to see, and I am embarrassed by the memory.
Now Target, a Minneapolis-based company, has decided to allow transgender people to use the bathroom or dressing rooms for whichever gender they identify. Minnesota has shown a great deal of progress since 1980.
Angela Humphrey, Fresno