Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Heaven Yelp Us

                Yelp, the San Francisco based firm specializing in online reviews, will soon offer a new feature allowing consumers to search for businesses offering gender-neutral restrooms.
                Finally, I can leave my house again!
                “Yelp! I need somebody. Yelp! Not just anybody….” (My apologies to the Beatles).
                In a recent blog post, the crowd-sourced company stated that it would collect information from both businesses and customers in adding a gender-neutral bathroom category to its listings. The post averred, “At Yelp, we thrive on inclusion and acceptance.” The company sports a position entitled, “Head of Diversity,” currently occupied by one Rachel Williams. Ms. Williams gave credit for the idea to employees in the company’s products section who were “incensed” by efforts in parts of the U.S. to curtail transgender people’s civil rights. “The hope is that this feature gets business owners thinking about how they’re presenting themselves—who they’re supporting and why. Maybe it will start some conversations,” remarked Yelp’s Diversity Czar.
                I’m sure it will.
                Yelp was among the 53 companies filing friend-of-the-court briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court on March 2nd, in support of transgender teen Gavin Grimm (!), in a lawsuit against his local school board in Virginia’s Gloucester County. Grimm wishes to use the boys’ bathroom at “his” high school, since it matches his “chosen” gender. In a nod to the Third Reich, the school board’s fascist policy currently prohibits him from doing so.
                The reactionary, hyper-conservative legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, has filed a brief supporting the board, and chastised the 53 companies for disregarding any concerns that the majority of students might have about sharing bathrooms and locker rooms with transgender schoolmates. The school board and the ADF should remember this very simple truism: you aren’t what you are, you are whatever you wish you were. Duh! I mean, hello!

                “Look, honey, Yelp gave the transgender bathroom at the Starbucks on Grand five full transgender symbols!”
                “Start the car, dear…I’ll be out in a minute!”



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