A trans woman said she experienced discrimination when a diner manager harassed her about using the women’s restroom.
The manager followed her to her table out of the restroom and told her she wasn’t a woman, NJ.com reported.
“You’re a woman in your dreams,” the night manager said, according to Erin Kinahan.
A trans woman said a New Jersey diner manager followed her around and told her she couldn’t use the women’s restroom, according to a report from NJ.com.
Erin Kinahan, 63, told NJ.com that the night manager of Edison Diner in Edison, New Jersey, discriminated against her because she is transgender.
Kinahan said the manager approached her at her table after she came out of the women’s restroom.
“From now on, I want you to use the men’s room,” the unnamed manager told Kinahan, according to NJ.com. She then told him she is a woman.
“You’re a woman in your dreams,” he replied, per her recollection. “I don’t know what you are.”
“I was just totally shocked,” Kinahan told NJ.com. “I was just blown away by his aggressive nature and his combative stance … people were looking, he was making a scene.”
Edison Diner owner Evan Kalambakas told NJ.com that a male customer initially complained to the manager on duty about Kinahan in the women’s restroom.
The manager has not been fired, Kalambakas said. Rather, Kalambakas plans to use the occasion as a learning moment.
“We can remediate and review and learn from this, which is our approach,” Kalambakas said. “I don’t fire people because they made a mistake. Never did. We try to fix it.”
Still, Kalambakas said, the manager should not have approached Kinahan the way he did.
“If he went over to her and told her, ‘going forward you can’t use the ladies room,’ at that point, if she said, ‘I’m a woman,’ he should have just said, ‘sorry.’ That should have been that,” he said.
In the days since the incident, Kalambakas has met with all the managers and told them that customers are allowed to use the bathroom of their choice.
Kinahan, who said she’s a regular at the diner, is in consultation with a lawyer about taking legal action, she told NJ.com.
She and her friends frequently eat at the diner because it’s located nearby the Pride Center of New Jersey, where Kinahan volunteers and works with LGBT teens.
She said the night manager for weeks kept “giving dirty looks” at her and her group of friends, per NJ.com.
“To have this deranged, sick individual discriminate against me publicly, here in a public place, it was very degrading and really has upset me,” Kinahan said.
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