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October 28, 2009

Transwoman Removed From Restroom, Subjected to Transpobic Slurs

A press release from transsexualities.com:

Transwoman removed from female washroom by security and subjected to transphobic slurs for using “wrong bathroom”

KELOWNA, BC – On Sunday, October 26th, at approximately 2AM, a transwoman was dragged out of the women’s washroom at LeVeL Nightclub.

A LeVeL employee who identified herself as Carly Wilson, initially directed the victim, a regular patron, to the male washroom after Wilson was asked where the female washroom was located. The victim pushed the door slightly open and after realizing it was the wrong one, went to the women’s room instead, entering a stall immediately.

Soon after, several LeVeL employees entered the women’s bathroom and placed a “small black box” which is believed be a video camera under the stall door. At this time the victim was already in a state of partial undress. Wilson falsely accused the victim of “doing blow” and then placed her hand on the victim, removing her from the washroom. No drugs were ever found on the victim.

The victim attempted to diffuse the situation by requesting to speak with the doorman of the club, however this request was refused. Even after showing Wilson her identification, the victim was subjected to transphobic slurs at the night club by Wilson, including “you’re a man in a dress, men in dresses aren’t allowed in the women’s washroom”

Wilson then stated that the victim was “welcome at the club, but it would be better if [she] didn’t use the washroom.” The victim was a regular at the club, and had used the washrooms there many times before without incident.

The Kelowna detachment of the RCMP were notified by the victim approximately 30 minutes after the incident and RCMP officers spoke with the owner that evening.

Constable Brendan Harkness, Outreach Liaison for the Kelowna Detachment of the RCMP told the victim that he would speak to Wilson about incident, adding that Wilson may not have realized that this was a discrimination issue.

Forcing a transgender woman to use a male washroom puts her at severe risk of attack from male patrons.”It’s safer to argue with the police about your right to be there than to argue with somebody who’s about to beat you up,” says Marie Little, Chair of the Vancouver-based Trans Alliance Society.

Names are being withheld to protect the privacy and safety of the victim.

Marti Abernathey
Marti Abernathey
Marti Abernathey is the founder of the Transadvocate and the previous managing editor. Abernathey has worn many different hats, including that of podcaster, activist, and radiologic technologist. She's been a part of various internet radio ventures such as TSR Live!, The T-Party, and The Radical Trannies, TransFM, and Sodium Pentathol Sunday. As an advocate she's previously been involved with the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Rock Indiana Campaign for Equality, and the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition. She's taken vital roles as a grass roots community organizer in The Indianapolis Tax Day Protest (2003), The Indy Pride HRC Protest (2004), Transgender Day of Remembrance (2004), Indiana's Witch Hunt (2005), and the Rally At The Statehouse (the largest ever GLBT protest in Indiana - 3/2005). In 2008 she was a delegate from Indiana to the Democratic National Convention and a member of Barack Obama's LGBT Steering and Policy Committee.