Hersheypark has made an unprecedented announcement in the fight for LGBT Rights. The park has made a statement that, in light of recent controversy surrounding an issue of transgender bathroom usage, they welcome guests to use whatever bathrooms they identify with, gender wise.
In other words of a transgender man identifies as a woman, that person is free to use the woman’s restroom.
The issue stems from the North Carolina Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act (HB2), which essentially calls for transgender people to use the restrooms which are assigned to the gender they were born with. Essentially, if you are a transgender that was born as a man, but now identify as a woman…you are being forced to use the men’s restroom.
Target issued a statement that says, essentially, guests can use whatever restrooms that they gender-identify with.
Now in a bold move, Hersheypark has issued a similar statement.
Every year, the employees of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R) welcome over 6 million guests from down the street and around the world. We recognize that the more perspectives we have within our company, the more welcoming we are to all those who visit and seek employment here. In fact, our company has four core values, one of which is “respectful of others,” which we define as treating all people with dignity, while respecting their differences and ideas. For decades, Hersheypark has been dedicated to the safety and security of our guest and employees. It is foundational to our brand. Additionally, the Park has and will always strive to accommodate all guests and employees – including members of the LGBT community – to ensure those visiting or working at Hersheypark are comfortable and feel secure. To that end, the Park will continue its practice of treating all guests and employees the same no matter race, ethnicity, sexual identity, etc. Guests and employees may continue to use the restrooms with which they gender-identify, or are welcome to use the many family restrooms available across the destination. For more information on our Diversity and Inclusion practices, visit http://www.hersheypa.com/about_hershey/diversity_and_inclusion/index.php.
Religious groups, and supporters of the law say that this an open invitation for child predators to invade restrooms. Researchers say that is a complete and total myth, as transgender people have been using restrooms based on their gender identity for years, without any issues. It’s only now, because of the law, that the issue is being brought up.
Hersheypark is the first theme park to openly support or even address the issue, one that could potentially effect their guests. Meanwhile, Carolina based Carowinds has remained neutral on the issue. Hersheypark is sticking to their core values, and are making those values public.
It’s a bold move, as it’s sure to have many critics on both sides of the issue.
Personally, we agree with the park, and hope that others follow suit.