A Texas college student who identifies as gender queer is accusing a burger joint in Austin, Texas, of transphobia after the eatery allegedly denied the student service because they were wearing women's cloths, the Daily Mail reports.
A junior at the University of Texas, Tyler Grant wishes to be referred to by neutral plural pronouns like "they" and "them" rather than "he" or "she" and sometimes wears women's' clothing.
But Grant says they were discriminated against by a local Whataburger, a fast food burger chain based in San Antonio, Texas. As the Houston Chronicle reported, a video was posted on Twitter early Sunday morning that shows a restaurant manager telling Grant and a friend they cannot enter the eatery because Grant was dressed in "inappropriate attire."
"I really believe it was transphobia-driven and I don't think it had anything to do with what I was wearing," Grant told the Houston Chronicle.
Whataburger said they denied Grant service not because Grant identifies as gender queer, but because the outfit the student was wearing was too revealing.
"Whataburger is proud to serve all customers regardless of race, gender or orientation," the restaurant said. "This wasn't an issue of gender but of appropriate attire as this guest was dressed in lingerie. Again, we welcome everyone into our restaurants but our customers' experience is our top priority. We are reviewing these events with our team members and will take appropriate action if needed."
Grant also took to Facebook to talk about the incident, and said they returned to the Whataburger the next afternoon to explain to the female employee why they "felt discriminated against the night before."
"I began explaining to her why and she told me she wouldn't let me in because my clothes were see-through. I then explained to her that I was wearing two inches of hip/butt pads, 2 pairs of dancers tights, and three pairs of nude panty hose," Grant wrote. "If it were see-through then she would have seen my brightly colored underwear, which also covered up everything essential anyway, but you couldn't even see those."
Grant wrote in another Facebook post, the incident started after an off-duty officer from the Texas Department of Safety allegedly told the student and a friend, who were walking barefoot, to put shoes on. They agreed and put on high heels.
The officer then allegedly asked, "Wait, are you a dude?" and then, according to Grant, told the Whataburger manager not to let them inside.
Austin has a non-decimation ordinance that prohibits establishments from denying service to people based on sexuality.
Grant is considering legal action against the fast food joint.
"I have yet to decide exactly what I'm going to do," the student wrote on Facebook. "I'm going to ask a few people for advice, but I am still very frustrated and angry. I'm not going to just let this go. Thank you to everyone for your support, I can't tell all of you how much it means."
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