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North Austin Store Accused Of Being Transphobic

Updated: Thursday, July 3 2014, 05:25 PM CDT

An Austin woman fights back after she says she was humiliated at a lingerie store. Kylie Jack's story has enraged the transgender community.

"I get it. I don't look exactly like every other woman out there. I'm different," said Kylie Jack.

But, she says that is no reason or excuse to humiliate her.

"The employee asked me if I was an anatomical female," said Kylie.

The question came last Saturday at Petticoat Fair in North Austin. Kylie wanted to be fitted for a bra.

"They're concerned about trans women being in their fitting rooms," said Kylie.

Kylie could buy lingerie, but she says she couldn't get the fitting service.

"When I asked why not, she said I would have to be fully transitioned. What she meant by that is that I'd have to have actual sexual reassignment surgery," said Kyle.

She calls it a transphobic policy.

"Trans women are women and we deserve to be in women's spaces and that should not be a gating factor based on surgery or legal identification," said Kylie.

The trans woman is a fighter and Facebook and Twitter are her battleground.

"If I have a bad experience I write about it. And so this is not the first time I've written about a bad experience, this is the first time, for whatever reason, it went viral," said Kylie.

On social media it's being called a violation of Austin's Public Accommodations Ordinance which makes it unlawful for a business to deny access to services because of gender identity.

"He wants to do the right thing here," said Kylie.

Store owner, Kirk Andrews, reached out to Kylie.

"He very sincerely apologized to me, face to face, and I appreciate that very much," said Kylie. "But, it's still an unfair policy that's still in violation of the city ordinance so it's something that has to be fixed. Once they change their policies, I will go back."

We asked the owner of Petticoat Fair for an on-camera interview. While he refused our request, he posted this statement on Facebook:

"To our Facebook community,
We want you to know that we are listening to your concerns, and that we are taking steps to further educate ourselves. We had a productive and respectful meeting with Kylie yesterday, in which we reiterated our apology to her. We are planning to meet with representatives of the trans community, including the Transgender Education Network of Texas. We will be clarifying our store policies and will communicate those. This will be a thoughtful and inclusive process that will take time. We ask for your patience in this. In the meantime, because much of the conversation on social media has devolved into unproductive and even hateful and threatening posts, we are calling a halt to the conversation on this topic here. As we said before, but which has gotten lost in the shuffle, we have appreciated-and learned from-much of the dialogue. We will leave most of it intact, but we will delete posts that are violent, obscene, racist, sexist, abusive, or threaten our employees or other individuals. Thank you for listening, and for your patience and support." --Kirk Andrews

By Bettie Cross

North Austin Store Accused Of Being Transphobic

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