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Macy’s employee fired for refusing to allow transgender shopper in dressing room

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Macy's in San Antonio, Tex. // Photo Credit: Houston Chronicle

A Macy’s employee in San Antonio, Tex. was fired for refusing to allow a transgender woman in the women’s dressing room during Black Friday weekend. Now, the woman is fighting Macy’s store policy, chalking up her decision to oust the transgender woman to Christian beliefs.

The Macy’s employee described the transgender woman, Natalie Johnson, as a man who was wearing makeup, dressed as a woman. The employee refused to let Johnson use the women’s fitting room. Shortly thereafter, an altercation ensued between Johnson and the Macy’s employee, escalating until other shoppers and the department manager had to intervene the Houston Chronicle is reporting. After being fired for the incident, the former Macy’s employee has sought help from the group Liberty Counsel, an organization that helps those who believe they are wrongfully terminated seek restitution.

“Macy’s does not comment on personnel matters,” said Melissa Goff, Macy’s regional spokeswoman. “At Macy’s we recognize and appreciate the diversity of our customers and associates.”

Liberty Counsel issued the following statement: “Macy’s has essentially opened women’s dressing rooms to every man,” and has asked Macy’s to add a third dressing room for transgender individuals.

The government has developed programs to stop discrimination against transgender people. Massachusetts signed an important bill into legislation earlier this month that adds transgender people as a recognized class protected against discrimination. In October, California signed two transgender rights bills into law. The Gender Nondiscrimination Act makes “gender identity and expression” its own protected category at work, at school, in housing, at public accommodations and in other settings.


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Posted by on Dec 7, 2011. Filed under Online Only, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

6 Comments for “Macy’s employee fired for refusing to allow transgender shopper in dressing room”

  1. Hmmm, I am not happy with the idea that Macy’s, as a matter of policy, allows anyone who chooses to dress as a “woman” into the ladies dressing rooms. Personally, I believe that if one is not surgery tracked (i.e. planning to have full sex reassignment surgery), or is pre-op but not at a point where one is capable of presenting credibly as a woman, then one should refrain from entering women’s spaces such as dressing rooms and such. Sadly, it is often those who have the least business (i.e. those who cannot enter such a space without causing discomfort and who think they have an absolute right to enter such spaces regardless of how uncomfortable it makes people) that make a fuss.

    Macy’s has a right to have such a policy, and I have a right to shop someone else.

    When I was pre-op, I did not consider going into a dressing room until I was quite certain that I could do so without causing problems. That was partly for my own comfort (I was not interested in “transgressing” gender) and even more because as a woman, I considered the feelings of other women.

    As to the woman’s religious beliefs, she certainly has a right to them, but I doubt she will prevail in this case.

    Sometimes you have a case where nobody is really in the right….

  2. Question yourself

    My question to Just Jennifer, how hard was it for your first time?
    Also the person who had the problem herself looks more male than female.
    Would you rahter have everyone’s panties cheked, or would you prefere to checke everyones panties in the dressing room, or be subject to that kind of humiliation.
    In this world we have all met men who look like women, and women who lokk more like men.

    • My first time? My first time, what? Going into a dressing room? It was not hard at all. You see, I waited until I was secure that my appearance was not going to freak anyone out. And I had no problems. No, I am not suggesting pantie checks. I am suggesting that those who are not seriously surgery tracked (i.e. actually completing their RLT in preparation for surgery) simply do the right thing, and not seek to get their thrills by going into a ladies dressing room. And that they refrain from doing so unless they are credible as a woman. If someone claims to be a woman, and they show no consideration for the feelings of women, then my feeling is “There is something wrong with this picture.”

      You see, I did not transition to be “transgender,” or to be a transsexual. I had a medical condition that I took care of. I was not simply making a “lifestyle choice.”

      This is the bottom line…the is not a “one size fits all” issue. What should be legal and proper for a person who is a transsexual in RLT is not necessarily appropriate for a person who has no desire to change sex, and what is appropriate for them is not appropriate for a crossdresser.

      Some common sense would help, but that is anathema to the extremists.

  3. Here is the real problem. The “victim” is not really transgender or transexual. He is a con artist. This was a scam attempt that backfired on him when the store fired the woman and he couldn’t ask for a settlement. He just “happened” to be there with a witnesses who recorded the event. IMHO he has caused more problems for the transgender population. Making the decision to change ones gender is hard enough without con artist getting involved.

    • I wondered about that sort of thing, especially given that his “entourage” included his attorney. Of course, it should be noted that it is actually impossible to change one’s gender. That is something that is inherent, and immutable. One can change one’s gender presentation and sex, either to match one’s inherent gender (i.e. a transsexual) or to be contrary to one’s inherent gender (i.e. transgender). And, as pointed out, there are those who present as a gender other than their inherent one for any number of reasons ranging from entertainment to fraud.

  4. It’s very effortless to find out any matter on web as compared to textbooks,
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