Ally Robledo was served with trespassing charges on April 8th as she was leaving Rosauer's grocery store in Lewiston, Idaho. Robledo, who is openly transgender, was charged for using the women's restroom.
"It's natural for me to go to the ladies' room," Robledo told Reuters earlier this week. "Getting the no trespassing order for a public restroom was really painful."
The day that Robledo was charged, she hadn't actually used the bathroom. Her charge was from a previous visit. As she was leaving the store with her boyfriend police cars drove into the parking lot. One of them, she said in a live interview with the Huffington Post, did not slow down and almost hit her.
While Rosauer's has refused to comment, Lewiston Police Captain Roger Lanier told local news station KLEW that the grocery store had received complaints from other shoppers, and "store employees didn't want any further problems."
Because Idaho—along with 37 other states—has no non-discrimination policy for gender identity. Lewiston, ID is 3.4 miles from the border of Washington, a state that has had legal protection for transgender persons since 2006. Had Robledo been in one of Rosauer's Washington franchises, she would have been protected. As it is, Robledo has no legal recourse.
Robledo's story highlights the unique plight of transgender Americans. Their safety and legal protection is too often dependent on which side of a state border they are on. Already, lawmakers in Arizona have proposed codifying the discrimination that Ally endured into state law.
Federal non-discrimination provisions for all persons, regardless of gender identity and expression, is imperative. GLAAD is working with Ally to tell her story and the stories of many other transgender people. For a full list of GLAAD's transgender resources, click here.