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Like civil rights pioneers before her, Helena Stone simply wanted the freedom to use public accommodations just like anyone else. So after her third arrest for using a women's bathroom at New York City's Grand Central Terminal, where she worked as a telephone technician, the 70-year-old trans woman (nee Henry McGuinness) filed a complaint with the city's Human Rights Commission.
Stone's case was settled in October when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority agreed to let transgender people use the restrooms of their choosing throughout the sizable railroad and subway system it operates. Stone, who has been transitioning for 10 years, was thrilled with the landmark outcome, which will help pave the way for similar decisions in jurisdictions around the country. Because of her, trans people in New York City are less likely to suffer the indignity Stone faced when she was denied the use of a basic public facility.