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Though Yelp has been criticized in the past for income inequality, the website that reviews nearly every business is doing what it can to help users find bathrooms accessible to all. And it’s taking a swipe at the Donald Trump administration at the same time.
Yelp announced its newest feature will allow users to search for businesses that offer gender-neutral bathrooms. Yelp is also asking businesses to update their profiles to include whether they offer locked single stalls that any customer can use.
A Yelp official told TechCrunch that the recent actions by the Trump administration, which rolled back the transgender student protections put in place by Barack Obama, motivated Yelp to add these features.
The company also has supported Gavin Grimm, a trans boy whose federal rights civil case against a school board in Virginia will be heard by the Supreme Court later this month.
“In response to the news of the last few days—and I’m super proud that the head of diversity and inclusion had nothing to do with it—people in this company were so incensed by what’s going on in our country, and to potential employees and customers, that they wanted to do something to support,” Rachel Williams, Yelp’s head of diversity and inclusion, told TechCrunch. “The product team got it done within a couple of days. They dropped everything to add this feature. I’m overjoyed and proud.”
As Yelp detailed on its blog, users will see on both the desktop and mobile versions of Yelp whether a business offers gender-neutral bathrooms. Soon, you’ll also have the ability to search for businesses simply based on this feature.
“The culture is changing,” Williams said. “That is what the big indicator is. Rightly or wrongly, this new administration has galvanized the folks. People are excited and fired up.”
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.