Transgender woman demands apology, $3,000 in compensation after railway staff called her 'sir'
66-year-old Katie Yeomans also claimed that she needed pills to fall asleep after she was called "sir" twice while she was talking to the staff
A transgender woman in the UK is now demanding an apology as well as £2,500 ($3,319) in compensation after she claimed that the staff of Southern Rail call her "sir".
66-year-old Katie Yeomans also claimed that she needed pills to fall asleep after she was called "sir" twice while she was talking to the staff. She said that this took place once when she was asking a question and the second time when she asked for a platform number.
Yeomans is currently demanding an apology from the staff at Southern Rail and compensation, the Daily Mail reported.
The company has said that it looked into the alleged incidents "thoroughly" and has since disputed the claims. The transgender activist told The Brighton Argus: "It is diabolical. I care because I spent five years transitioning and I have all of my legal documentation."
She continued: "So whether people like it or not I am a woman and I expect to be treated as a woman. I don’t expect to be treated as a man." Yeomans said that in spite of her having gender reassignment surgery close to two years ago, she was called "sir" twice by the staff.
In one of the incidents, she alleges that she was told to "take a seat, sir" when she was trying to speak to a staff member. And in the second incident, which happened just two weeks later, she claimed that she was told "platform number one, sir" when she asked which platform the Brighton train was on.
Yeomans said: "I find it insulting how people will call me sir and find that acceptable. As you can see from photos, I always present myself as very female. This is not the first time I have suffered this type of discrimination. Most companies have apologized and promised to improve things to ensure it never happens again."
The transgender activist said that she started transitioning after she realized that she was transgender at a fancy dress party in 2014 when she was 61-years-old. Yeomans started taking women's hormones in May 2015 and this helped her grow breasts and slow down her hair growth. She was given a female birth certificate in 2016 and had her sex change operation done the year after that. She had also said that she believes it is her duty to stand up for trans women.
Yeomans said: "The resolution I’m looking for is an apology. I also want reassurance that their equality and diversity training is up to scratch. In view of stress and anxiety, this case has caused me, I am seeking compensation." She can now get up to in damages if it works out in her favor.
A spokesperson for Southern Rail said: "We have looked into this thoroughly and dispute what has been claimed. However, with investigations ongoing, it would be inappropriate to make any further comment on this particular case. We promote diversity within the organisation and across the rail industry. We have a popular, active LGBTQ+ community at Southern and Govia Thameslink Railway and are vocal champions of employees who identify as such, celebrating them both internally and in the media."