I’m not even going to comment on this. I think my position will be obvious. I’ll let you do the talking. This story happened about a week or maybe 2 weeks ago and I’m just getting to it now. Let the outrage ensue… I guarantee a midget group will demand their own smaller version next.
Michele deLaFreniere, a transgender woman, and Tom Anderson, owner of Anderson’s Fifth Estate, met this past weekend to resolve their remaining differences in the bathroom dispute.
DeLaFreniere agreed to drop her civil rights complaint against Anderson.
Anderson set up a single-stall restroom available to any patron.
“It cost me about $5 for a (bathroom) sign, and add many more zeroes to that for what I owe my attorney,” Anderson said Tuesday, adding that he was relieved the end the matter.
A year ago, Anderson barred deLaFreniere and some of her friends from his downtown Scottsdale nightclub after complaints from women about men in dresses standing up to use toilets in the women’s restroom.
DeLaFreniere filed a sex-discrimination complaint against Anderson with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, which was investigating the matter.
Equality Arizona, a civil rights group representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, stepped in to try to negotiate a settlement and set up a meeting Friday between deLaFreniere and Anderson.
“They did find common ground,” said Sam Holdren of Equality Arizona.
‘Like coming home’
DeLaFreniere accepted Anderson’s invitation and returned to Anderson’s Fifth Estate on Saturday night.
“It was like coming home,” she said.
DeLaFreniere credited Anderson with setting up last week’s meeting to resolve the dispute.
Two weeks ago, Equality Arizona announced that it had given up trying to settle the matter. That, despite Anderson’s move to install the unisex bathroom.
At that time, however, Anderson would not agree to allow deLaFreniere to return to Anderson’s Fifth Estate, and deLaFreniere would not agree to drop her complaint, according to Holdren.
Equality Arizona credited
Anderson gave credit to Equality Arizona for its ongoing efforts to settle the dispute.
“I have a better understanding of (deLaFreniere’s) position and she has a better understanding of mine,” the club owner said.
“We’ve never been about barring anybody or blocking anybody from coming in,” Anderson added.
DeLaFreniere also was relieved to settle the matter.
“It was hard on both parties,” she said.
Positive community talks
DeLaFreniere, a member of the Scottsdale Human Relations Commission and Arizona Transgender Alliance, said it was good for the community to discuss transgender rights and issues of public accommodations, even though a lot of people do not want to talk about it.
“This is an issue going on around the country,” she said, adding that it will take an ongoing effort to educate people about transgender issues.
“We are born this way,” deLaFreniere said. “We’re not freaks.”
Transgender refers to people who identify themselves with the gender opposite of their biological gender. Some choose to have sex-reassignment surgery and others opt to dress and live as the opposite gender.