A trans woman said she was discriminated against when a restaurant manager harassed her for using the women’s restroom.
The manager followed her to her table outside the restroom and told her she was not a woman, NJ.com reported.
“You are a woman in your dreams,” said the night manager, according to Erin Kinahan.
A trans woman said a New Jersey restaurant manager followed her and told her she couldn’t use the women’s bathroom, according to a report by NJ.com.
Erin Kinahan, 63, told NJ.com that the night manager of the Edison Diner in Edison, New Jersey, discriminated against her because she was transgender.
Kinahan said the manager approached her at his table after she left the women’s restroom.
“From now on, I want you to use the men’s restroom,” the anonymous official told Kinahan, according to NJ.com. She then tells him that she is a woman.
“You are a woman in your dreams,” he replied, according to his memories. “I don’t know what you are.”
“I was just totally shocked,” Kinahan told NJ.com. “I was blown away by his aggressive nature and his combative stance…people were watching, he was making a scene.”
Edison Diner owner Evan Kalambakas told NJ.com that a male customer first complained to Kinahan’s duty manager in the women’s restroom.
The manager was not fired, Kalambakas said. On the contrary, Kalambakas plans to use the occasion as a teachable moment.
“We can remedy this, review and learn from this, which is our approach,” Kalambakas said. “I don’t fire people because they made a mistake. I never did. We try to fix it.”
Still, Kalambakas said, the manager shouldn’t have approached Kinahan like he did.
“If he walked up to her and said, ‘In the future, you can’t use the women’s bathroom,’ then if she said, ‘I’m a woman’ , he should have just said ‘sorry.’ That should have been it,” he said.
In the days following the incident, Kalambakas met with all managers and told them that customers were allowed to use any bathroom they chose.
Kinahan, who said she is a regular at the restaurant, is consulting with an attorney about legal action, she told NJ.com.
She and her friends frequently eat at the restaurant because it is located near New Jersey’s Pride Center, where Kinahan volunteers and works with LGBT teens.
She said the night manager for weeks kept “spitting dirty looks” on her and her group of friends, according to NJ.com.
“To have this deranged and sick individual discriminating against me publicly, here in a public place, was very demeaning and really upset me,” Kinahan said.
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