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ACLU Threatens Lawsuit Against Coachella Festival Over Transgender Bathroom Policy

ACLU of Southern California

With the Coachella Music & Arts Festival less than two months away, two transgender siblings claim festival staff wouldn't let them use bathrooms reflecting their gender identities last year.  KVCR's Danielle Fox reports the ACLU of Southern California is threatening legal action if festival organizers do not improve their bathroom policy.

During last year’s Coachella festival, Navi Huskey, who identifies as a trans woman, was stopped by Coachella security when trying to use the women’s restroom. The next day, a security guard stopped her brother Juice Huskey, who identifies as transmasculine, from using the men’s restroom.

Ariana Rodriguez: That’s extremely problematic especially given how Coachella holds itself out as a very inclusive and affirmative place.

That’s Ariana Rodriguez, an ACLU Legal Fellow who’s part of the team representing the Huskey siblings.

In a letter to festival organizers Anschutz Entertainment Group, the ACLU called on the company to present a written policy, guaranteeing that anyone can use a bathroom and facility that corresponds with their gender identity — and demanding that the company train all festival staff and contractors to enforce this policy.

Rodriguez: It would be great if patrons coming this year don’t have to go through this or be worried about when they’re going to go to the restroom when they’re trying to plan out their different concert schedules and who they want to go see.

Rodriguez says festival organizers have been in touch and are discussing pathways towards a resolution.

The Anschutz Entertainment Group was not available for immediate comment.

If festival organizers do not take action by March 6th, Rodriguez says the ACLU is prepared to take legal action.

For KVCR News, I’m Danielle Fox

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