Today's piece of news is yet another reminder that there are still truly awful people living in this world. According to Stylelite, an associate at lingerie shop Petticoat Fair in Austin, Texas, refused service to a transgender shopper, in addition to humiliating the customer.
After what I could only imagine to be a horrendous experience, transgender customer Kylie Jack took to her Facebook account to share what had happened to her. The post read as follows: "Hello Austinites: today I went for a bra fitting at Petticoat Fair, where an employee humiliated me by asking for ID stating I was female and saying I needed bottom surgery in order to get a fitting. If you are in solidarity with trans women, please boycott Petticoat Fair until they remove their transphobic and cissexist policies. Please feel free to share this post." As of today, the post has received 419 shares, 141 likes and 77 comments.
Petticoat Fair's owner Kirk Andrews was quick to respond, posting what seemed like an apology on their Facebook page. Andrews argued that there had been a misconception of Petticoat Fair and that they have openly served the transgendered community in Austin for over 50 years. However, with that apology came the following explanation/excuse: "Just as a gym won’t allow men in a women’s dressing room (and vice versa) for the comfort and safety of its patrons, we don’t allow men or boys above a certain age in our dressing area. Despite our otherwise inclusive approach, those who might be or who outwardly appear to be men (regardless of how they are dressed) pose a delicate challenge, and in the case of imposters, can pose a safety risk to the Petticoat Fair staff."
Imposters? While I'm sure crazy things have taken place in lingerie shops, I'm also positive that there's a very obvious difference between a customer who is posing a threat versus a customer who is just looking to get a bra fitting. If the employee had felt threatened, I think she would've contacted authorities. But she clearly did not feel as though Jack was dangerous, otherwise, she would've called the police. Instead, she humiliated her by asking for proof of ID.
Andrews posted another update on Petticoat's Facebook page earlier today, saying that they are meeting with the Transgender Education Network and are "working to develop a policy that is inclusive, respectful, and sensitive to all of our customers and employees." In their defense, he also said, "There is a learning curve — we are experts in the women's intimate apparel business; and simply were not educated in some of the issues we're coming to understand now." In addition to these new developments, I hope they've also offered Kylie Jack a sincere apology — with a lifetime supply of free lingerie, perhaps?
Image: Petticoat Fair/Facebook