This on the cover of Austin's weekly paper this week. Pre-op tranny Kylie Jack was denied an intimate measuring at an Austin lingerie store because of her penis. I'm taking the sales-clerk's side on this one. Below is the online letter that I just wrote to the Chronicle:
What a tempest in a B-cup.
First, kudos to Petticoat Fair owner Kirk Andrews for going above and beyond good customer service in his extremely kind and sensitive response to Kylie Jack. (I was disgusted to read that his good intentions were dismissed by some because he used the term "transgendered" rather than "transgender." Can't stand this type of Orwellian language-police.)
Second, I question Kylie Jack's handling of the situation to begin with. In all of my years of clothing/lingerie shopping, I've come across a few sales-clerks that I considered rude. In almost every such case, I've simply asked to speak to the store manager on duty, voiced my complaint to him/her directly, and was uniformly immediately issued an apology and an assurance that the clerk would be talked to. Did Jack follow this common-sense route? Nah. Instead, rather than handling the situation one-on-one, she took the coward's way out and went on an Internet vendetta that led to the store and its owners "receiving threats of continued harassment and, in some cases, implied violence." (Who was the bully and who the bullied here?)
Third, as the article made absolutely clear, EVERY member of the female sales staff at Petticoat Fair had at one time or another been subjected to "men with nefarious intentions" (aka "creepers," aka men coming in to the store dressed as women and trying to get off on having the female clerks intimately measure them). Given this fact, why is a female clerk's being wary of someone with a penis asking to be intimately measured in a close space considered questionable? Her reaction seems perfectly logical to me.
Lastly, there's the ignorant comment of Lisa Scheps of the Transgender Education Network of Texas, who hosted a "Trans 101" "sensitivity training" course for the staff of Petticoat Fair. When owner Andrews tried to explain the store's reality of "creepers" to her, Scheps replied, "Yeah, how many times does that really happen? When an impostor tries to come in here?" When Andrews pointed out that his entire staff said that they dealt with the issue "all the time," Scheps' glib reply was: "Creepers gonna creep." Who's the one needing the "sensitivity training"?