Raleigh, N.C. — Every once in a while, someone takes a stand, and it results in positive change.
That’s what happened to a shopper at Crabtree Valley Mall who had concerns about the restrooms.
“I neither see myself as male nor female. I see myself and my gender identity as non-binary … so using a restroom that is private is preferred,” said Devin Pearson.
In August, Pearson, who goes by they/them pronouns, attempted to use what was labeled “the family restroom” at Crabtree Valley Mall.
Pearson pushed the button to call security to unlock the door.
“I wanted to use the restroom and was told I was not allowed to use the restroom as I did not have a child with me,” recalled Pearson. “I said it was a private matter. I reiterated by sharing my gender identity and was still told no.”
“It was pretty shocking and a little bit humiliating at the same time,” Pearson added.
Pearson wrote to mall management sharing their concerns, and after several emails and a meeting, mall management changed the sign to “all gender restroom.”
“I just applaud them again for being willing to make a change and to provide access to anyone to use a restroom,” said Pearson. “I just hope that it inspires other people; people that observe or see something that feels wrong to speak up and share what your feelings are.”
Pearson added that the small change to a bathroom sign is a big change in terms of making people feel comfortable at the mall.
Crabtree Valley Mall did not respond to WRAL News’ request for comment on the change.