Online map shows North Carolina's transgender-friendly bathrooms

An unofficial resource is getting around the state's restrictive bathroom law.

Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Oppressed groups have a knack for writing guides to avoid discrimination, and that's truer than ever in the internet era. MIT web designer Emily Rae Waggoner has created a Google map that helps you find transgender-friendly bathrooms in North Carolina, where a recently enacted law (commonly known under its bill name, HB2) makes it illegal to use facilities that aren't intended for the sex you were assigned at birth. Waggoner is taking submissions from across the state, but she's not just posting them without question -- she's using evidence from social networking to help prove that a given establishment really is welcoming. A post resisting HB2 can work, for example.

With just 85 listings as of this writing, this isn't a huge or comprehensive map. However, it's proof that custom mapping tools like Google's My Maps are useful for more than just plotting your hiking trail or marking favorite places to eat. In a case like this, they can provide safe havens and send a political message.