An Austin, Texas transgender woman is opening up the conversation about a recent discriminatory experience. Kylie Jack took to Facebook to talk about how she was treated at a local lingerie store, Petticoat Fair.
“Today I went for a bra fitting at Petticoat Fair, where an employee humiliated me by asking for I.D. stating I was female and saying I ‘needed bottom surgery’ in order to get a fitting,” Jack said on Facebook. “If you are in solidarity with trans women, please boycott Petticoat Fair until they remove their transphobic and cissexist policies.”
The accusation is pretty crazy, but it’s not the first time something this bold has happened. In defense of Jack’s experience the store’s owner, Kirk Andrews issued a semi-apology:
“[T]here seems to be a misconception that Petticoat Fair has a policy of not working with the transgendered community. That is not the case. In fact, we have served the transgendered community for most of our 50 years in Austin. What we do have is a policy regarding who may or may not enter our fitting rooms. […] The dressing room is a particularly private and vulnerable place for many women and girls, so it’s a protected area. If it’s unclear whether a customer is a man or a woman, we err on the side of caution as a protocol, but never on the side of discrimination or intolerance.”
But the lackluster apology did nothing for those who were still offended online. According to Refinery29.com Andrews now plans to create policies to be more sensitive to all customers:
Today, store owner Andrews reported that he’s scheduled a meeting with the Transgender Education Network and transgender advocate Meghan Stabler to develop a policy that is “inclusive, respectful, and sensitive to all of our customers and employees.” He also stated simply, “We messed up. We are sorry for that, and we are working diligently to do better.” Let’s hope the real apology is just the start of change, because providing “privacy” for some of your customers should never mean humiliating others.
We shall see what comes about from this, but it’s becoming more apparent that America isn’t totally aware of how to treat the transgender community. And the solution may take a while to come by.