“I'm used to being accused of being a boy, but this time I was humiliated in front of the whole restaurant.”
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A 16-year-old lesbian claims she was kicked out of a McDonald’s branch in Hull, England for using the women’s restroom because staff members thought she was a male.
According to the Daily Mail, Ny Richardson and her friends were dining at the St. Andrews Quay McDonald’s branch when Richardson got up to use the restroom. Richardson said: “I ordered my food and left it with my girlfriend as I went to the toilet. When I was in there, someone told me to get out and when I sat back down, the manager came over and told me that I needed to leave because I have been in the girls’ toilet.”
Richardson, who denies she was uncooperative, claims that the manager then asked her to provide proof of ID, which she did not have. According to Richardson, the manager told her to leave the restaurant before proceeding to call the police. Police confirmed that they responded to a call at the McDonald’s branch after an altercation arose between Richardson’s group of friends and restaurant staff. A McDonald’s spokesperson acknowledged that a group of individuals were asked to leave the restaurant “following several complaints about inappropriate behavior.” The spokesperson emphasized that “these actions have been taken due to unacceptable behavior only.”
Image via CC (credit: Mike Mozart)
The incident with Richardson is not the first story to make recent headlines for requiring proof of gender to use public restrooms. Across the pond in the United States, North Carolina recently passed a law that requires transgender individuals to use the restroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificates. According to data from the National Center for Transgender Equality, seven other states have current legislation aiming to enact similar policies. There are some resources for transgender individuals who may not know their exact rights when it comes to restroom policies in various states and what actions are being taken to ensure equal access and non-descrimination. As policy makers look to regulate the use of public restrooms, the personal and ethical ramifications of requiring an individual to show proof of ID must be considered. For Richardson, the experience was demeaning. “I'm used to being accused of being a boy, but this time I was humiliated in front of the whole restaurant […] I'm still angry about it now.”