What Would You Do: Sales clerk refuses to sell clothes to transgender woman

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I was flicking around Youtube, as you do, when I found this.


I was surprised by the amont of GG's standing up for the transgender lady. It's old, 2017. Don't read the recent comments though. Some of the people are going on about the stores clerk, needing to be sacked. They dont seem to realize she is an actor, like the trans lady.

Does stuff like this happen for real?


Perhaps once in 16 years?

Here where I live that sort of discrimination is against the law. I spent a weekend in Atlanta and everyone was nice. There are places where I would not expect to leave with my life.

Not as much

As it used to. As Gwen Brown pointed out, this would be a violation of Federal law in the U.S., and would leave the employer wide open to a nice juicy federal lawsuit. Punative damages are a bitch.

But probably almost as important is the fact that regardless of gender the money is still green, and the same sales commission is received by the clerk. After the depressed sales the last couple of years due to the pandemic, every cha-ching of the register increases both their paycheck and the stability of their job.

"Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”
George Carlin

I personally have never had this happen……

D. Eden's picture

But I did have a sales clerk in a BonTon store repeatedly misgender me, and then ask another salesperson to take care of me.

It was early in my transition, so I was not as passable as I am now - but I was rather obviously presenting as female. I was shopping with my spouse, and we were both purchasing women’s clothing. We were literally standing right next to each other being helped by separate sales persons at the same counter. In fact, we were even talking to each other while doing so.

This woman misgendered me multiple times, and eventually asked the other clerk to take care of me. I was very upset by it, but my spouse was even more so. She was very angry about it. When we finished up, we went to another register and asked to speak with the store manager - who turned out to be very nice and very supportive - and also very obviously gay. That may or may not have had an impact on how he dealt with us, but he was very good about the whole issue.

Needless to say, when the chain went out of business a year or so later I was not the least bit heart broken about it.

All in all, I find the vast majority of people that I deal with to be very good, but maybe I am just lucky.

D. Eden

Dum Vivimus, Vivamus

Interesting you should post this today

Patricia Marie Allen's picture

I was just responding to a PM and in my response, I mentioned a time when I derided push the limits, just to see where they were. I was still deluding myself that I was "just a cross-dresser" but was finding it harder and harder to deny or even put on hold my need to express the feminine within me. I had been out and about dressed many times and had begun trying on before buying. My major concern was just what would happen if they (the sales clerk or other customers) would do if the realized I was a man in a dress.

So I decided that I would make sure that the knew, just to see and started going out in drab to buy my women's wardrobe. I'd look through the selections and if I found something I like, I'd ask to try on. I decided that if there was even a little hesitation I would simply leave and take my business elsewhere. So in answer to "What would you do", I'd take my business elsewhere.

I started with resale shops. I went all over town to wearing obvious men's clothes stopping in small shops asking to try on. Only once was I refused when asked to try on. The sales clerk was a young woman, barely out of high school and she told me I could take it home to try on and bring it back if it didn't fit.

The culmination of this experiment was when I need to stop by Sears on my way home from work to buy some tools that I was going to need. As was my habit I cruised through the women's clothing section to admire what was on offer. Mind you I was working in the maintenance department of a machine shop and wasn't even scrubbed up a little bit. It so happened that there was a dress that just called my name. I stopped to look at it and was even more enamored with it. So, I took it to the register and asked the busy clerk if there was some place I could try it on. She looked up saw what I was holding and waved her hand at the fitting rooms behind the till and said, "The fitting rooms are right there." The women's fitting rooms. I went back, chose a room and tried it on. Alas I had taken the largest size the dress came in and it was just to small. No one, not the clerk nor the women trying on seemed to even notice that I was a man (at least outwardly).

At that point I declared my experiment concluded and decided that nothing would happen; that I was free to buy and try on anywhere. But with that caveat that if there was a negative reaction the only consequence would be that they would lose a sale and a potential customer.


Happiness is being all dressed up and HAVING some place to go.
Semper in femineo gerunt
Ich bin eine Mann

Very interesting. Most of the

leeanna19's picture

Very interesting. Most of the women in the video were fine with it . There was one that suggested calling the cops. What for I cannot guess.


Even back

In 2017 there were laws on the books banning discrimination in many places. Most bigots rely on intimidation to keep the victim from calling the police and/or a lawyer.

Damaged people are dangerous
They know they can survive

You do realize that "bigot"

You do realize that "bigot" means "one who doesn't believe the same way as you", right? To you, they're bigots. To them, YOU are the bigot. Despite people using it in a derogatory fashion, the word itself can be used in either direction.

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

Not really

erin's picture

A bigot is someone who is unfairly intolerant of others; or a hypocrite; or someone who unreasonably adheres to a rigid and intolerant dogma. It does not mean and is not ordinarily used to mean someone who has a different opinion, though some people do distort it that way. The use of a word defines its meaning and vice versa. It's mostly used derogatorily because that is its ordinary meaning.

It's from a French word for hypocrite, probably originating from the frequent use of "by God" as an expletive by some English people. Which is ironic, in a way. :)

Personally, I know lots of people who express bigoted views, and for the most part, I'm tolerant of them. :)


= Give everyone the benefit of the doubt because certainty is a fragile thing that can be shattered by one overlooked fact.

Definition of Bigot

From Merriam-Webster: A person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.

From Cambridge Dictionary: A person who has strong, unreasonable beliefs and who does not like other people who have different beliefs or a different way of life.

The word bigot might have meant "one who doesn't believe the same way as you do" in the past, but it lost that meaning a long time ago. Words meaning changes over time by how people use them. Meat used to mean all solid food, that is why we use meat to describe the edible part of fruit and nuts. That is not the definition now.

Definitions are not static and subjective by the masses. They change by use and are never set in stone. The word bigot does not mean what it started out meaning.

All you did is confirm what I

All you did is confirm what I pointed out. BOTH sides are 'bigots'. Let's use politics for an example. Hard core Democrats hold "unreasonable beliefs" strongly - to Republicans. Republicans hold "unreasonable beliefs" strongly - to Democrats.

You say "they" are wrong. They believe, just as strongly, that "you" are wrong. It's a positional word only! That's why I find other words to use, because it is, frankly, a word that's detrimental to understanding.

You call them bigots because YOUR strongly held beliefs disagree with them. They think you're a bigot because you strongly disagree with them, and are attacking _them_. (Well, for many of the various groups, they don't really get that far in the thinking process. On both sides)

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

If you leave out over half of

If you leave out over half of the definition I put for bigotry you would be right. Let us look at the rest of the definition which you did not cover "you did not include who does not like other people who have different beliefs a different way of life." Notice it states about not liking someone for their opinions and their way of life. In your definition, you do not cover that.
I disagree with people on economics but I do not hate or dislike them if they have a different point of view of how to best run an economy. I am pro-single-payer health care system. I do not hate or dislike people who think how health care is done in America is the best way. So that means people can have a differnt opinion as to someone else and not be a bigot.


erin's picture

Your argument consists entirely of putting words in my mouth. But I'm tolerant. :)


= Give everyone the benefit of the doubt because certainty is a fragile thing that can be shattered by one overlooked fact.

I'll be blunt. The best way

I'll be blunt. The best way to deal with some place that doesn't want to do business with you is to take your business elsewhere. There are lots of places that care that your money is green than anything else.

It's not worth wasting breath and effort on someone that wants you out of their store. However, some people seem to try to make it a crusade to force people to pander to them.

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

So where do you

Draw the line? Not a lot of difference between my not being served because I'm TG (I'm not, but for the purposes of this discussion let's say I am.) and the people that are black, or Hispanic, or oriental. Store won't serve you? Shop somewhere else?

It's all the same, it is prejudicial and, dare I say it - bigoted. Our Constitution (as amended) guarantes that everybody has full and equal rights under law. Yes, there are exceptions, such as for convicted felons.

Otherwise all are created equal. Whites, blacks, and even those that are TG have the same rights. If it is a public business, be it a store or a restaurant or a motel. If it is open to you then legally it's open to me, or Barack Obama, or Mr. Wong, or a gay couple, or whoever wants to shop there. Unless it is somewhere that can be classified as private then anybody can legally shop there. There are some exceptions such as public health and such, but for the purposes of this discussion those are extraneous factors.

In short, if it is a public business than anybody can shop there. It's not just a good idea, it's THE LAW!

Damaged people are dangerous
They know they can survive

I agree, but would they not

leeanna19's picture

I agree, but would they not need to state why they refused to serve you. There was a case in the UK a few years back where a bakers refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. The man sued and won their case.

I wondered if they just refused and said we're too busy , rather than they as christians they didn't believe in gay marriage it would be OK. Shops have the right to refuse to serve someone in the UK, do they in the USA?


The shop

In your example, if a bakery states that they are too busy to make a wedding cake, they would have to prove that was so in court.

If they lie and say they are too busy it would be committing a sin. Also, this is more likely the reason, they do not know the is for a same-sex marriage when they say yes to making it.

The US is the same as the UK about having the right to refuse service. The US is also the same as the UK the refusal of service becomes illegal if it is discriminatory.

Where do you draw the line?

Where do you draw the line? Personal ownership. If I own something, I have the right to refuse to let anyone, for any reason, use that something. You said the same thing with "Public Business". That means "not owned by an individual". Right now, as we are, we have enough businesses out there that having a gas station say 'NO (insert epithet here) ALLOWED' is NOT a big deal! The shop across the street is more likely to put up a sign saying "WE SELL TO ANYONE!" Idiotic 'reverse racism' laws aren't helping anymore.

I'm vehemently against the concept that the government is allowed to demand that I provide services to anyone that asks, no matter what. Why? Well, mostly, it's mine. Secondly, they'll then hold me personally responsible for anything that happens BY or TO that person, who I didn't want to do business with at all anyway. (Think of the 'no discrimination' rental laws, where you can't really deny someone rental if they offer you cash for a year, up front. Then you can have the rental property seized for when they cook meth and are caught - and you lose the property because the government forced you to rent to them. Extreme case, but it gets the point across )

Note: I said _own_. That means it can't be a C corporation with a board of directors and management chain. By definition, that's not a private business.

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

You know that when people say

You know that when people say public business in this context they are talking about businesses which are open to the public. If a business is open to the public then it has to serve the public the same. If you don’t want your business to be open to the public you can make it a membership one.
You do have that right of refusing anyone for any reason to come onto your property until you open it open to the public. When you open a business up to the public you do give up some rights but you get many benefits for that business.
There are many reasons for why a business which is open to the public should serve the entire public.. One opening a business makes it so people are not directly liable for what occurs while operating the business. Then there are also the tax breaks which business gets. Another of the reasons is that you might owe the property but you are using the commons to operate the business. The commons is paid for by everyone. If there were no roads people could not get there. If there is no police your business property would not be protected. If there is no fire department then you will lose your business in a fire. It is proven that business use more of the commons than a citizen.
Now your extreme example is that you are only covered under the civil rights laws if you have more than 5 or 10 units for rent. Another thing is if you have a legit reason which is not based on a protected class a business can deny renting to anyone. If you have legitimate concerns that the renter is going to cook crystal meth on your property then you can legally deny them. Also, how can be able to deny someone by who they are protecting you against a renter cooking crystal meth in the property they are renting?
Lastly about just going down the street, in urban areas you are right there are many. Go out to a more rural area, there might only be one gas station in a 20-mile radius. Do you really think it is fine for the gas station owner to not serve certain people because of who they are? How about a florist shop. Someone wants to buy flowers and refused service for who they and the next closest floral shop is an hour drive.

Pretty Much

What I was going to say. Thanks for saving me the effort. Said person above is reasonably intelligent, I've read other posts of his. That suggests that either he is being deliberately obtuse, or he is being a troll trying to rile up others. Either way, my opinion of him has severely dropped.

There is an old saying goes something like this: Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. Saying that, I see no reason to continue this; so I'm outta here.

Damaged people are dangerous
They know they can survive

To me, a public business is

To me, a public business is one which has it's ownership traded publicly. This can be a governmental driven business, a corporation with multiple shareholders, or one which is deemed a critical needs business (such as a hospital). One that serves the public good would also be a 'public' business.

Saying it's open _to_ the public is reasonably meaningless.

A private business is just that - privately held. It's not that it's a membership driven business. That's just that - a membership business. Some membership businesses are private, some are public.

As someone who actually runs a business, I don't appreciate people telling me how I should or should not run said business (This is not directed at anyone here. I get it IRL far more than here. ) Usually those people couldn't run a lemonade stand. (Yes, that's YOU, bureaucrats) Do I think that it is right that someone deny service because of some arbitrary judgement? No. Most of the reasons that people have denied service over the centuries are downright stupid. Do I think they should have that right? Absolutely! Unless there's a life on the line, or some other critical need, it's _their property to do with as they will_. Should the owner of a business be able to just say 'I don't like you, so I won't hire you'? Yes. In fact, I'd prefer that to the weaselly HR people that I dealt with for years because they can't, legally, tell me the real reason I didn't get a job, etc. (Reasons like "We're going to hire internally to fill this position, but there are regulations saying we have to advertise this position outside and give people interviews." )

Now, if you had only one gas station for 20 miles in any direction, such as used to be a real problem in much of the US in the 70's, then people could make a claim that you're a 'public good' business, and be forced to sell to anyone. A florist? No. There's no way to convince anyone that it's an essential need. Same with a pastry shop, or just about any other kind of goods and services business. You can go to another store, or do it yourself, or live without. It's the same as refusing to _buy_ from stores that you don't like how they operate. I sometimes pay extra for some things because I refuse to support certain behaviours.

Now, if you're _renting_ space for your business? Your rental contract could certainly say that you're not allowed to deny service to people because of whatever. That's the owner of the property setting requirements for your operating your business on _their_ property. In fact, most business rental agreements have covenants similar to that - specifying behaviours isn't abnormal. (Restrictions of hours of operations, requirements for certain equipment to be present, and so forth)

Note that I keep saying the owner. What you own. Random salesperson isn't owner. Publicly traded corporation isn't owner - they state straight out that they're publicly owned. So realistically, there are very few privately owned businesses anymore.

Let me put it simply. You put a bench in your front yard for yourself and your friends, and you've labeled it as such. It's now in the public, right? I mean, it's right next to the sidewalk, so you can sit down and wait for a bus, or watch people go by. It's your bench - but it's public. How would you feel if you walked outside, and found someone you didn't know sitting there, and they refuse to move because it's a public bench. So you call the cops to have them moved, and then you find yourself with a lawsuit against you because you put the bench in the open, and you're now denying people the right to sit on your public bench? Yes, you can say "they're trespassing on my property. I didn't give them permission to come and sit down on my bench"... and we're back to you have the right to deny anyone access to your property that you want, for whatever reason you want. Good, bad, stupid, or intelligent.

Please - keep in mind this is _my_ personal opinion. I have no more control over politicians and lawmakers than anyone else here. I would like it if people read it and think about it, but I don't expect anyone to actually follow along with it just because I want them to. That would be reprehensible.

For my personal business, there _are_ groups of people that I refuse to do business with because of prior behaviours. There are other groups of people that I require payment up front before performing services. There are businesses that have made it plain that I was unwelcome there because of my skin colour. I don't do business there, but never once I have I complained about their attitudes. I give my money elsewhere instead. The way the laws are going? Soon I'll be required that if someone calls me for service, I'll be forced to take care of their problems even with no proof that they can pay me, let alone any other reason I might have to not want to fix their issues.

I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

Peeking, Duck (not)

I had one experience in a shop where I earlier hadn't had any problems with the girls working there. I had bought couple of dresses there as well. However, once a man (a manager?) was there. When trying on a dress he got a chair and looked over the wall of the fitting booth. When I asked him why he wasn't ashamed only said it was unusual that a man tried on a dress. I assume he felt uncomfortable that I did that and that it would reflect badly on the shop.

I kept tryig on dresses in that shop but never again bought one :)


A violation of your right to privacy, and he can be arrested and charged in court. You have a reasonable expectation of privacy and violating that right is a criminal offense.

Damaged people are dangerous
They know they can survive