A Texas man is claiming that he was denied entrance to an Austin Whataburger location because he was dressed in women’s clothes, The San Antonio Express-News is reporting.
Tyler Grant, who identifies as “genderqueer” and is a student at the University of Texas at Austin, posted on social media Saturday that he and a friend attempted to get some food at an Austin Whataburger location near campus and were met outside by a cop.
“So Justin and I went to Whataburger and I’m in drag. I was holding my heels in my hand and the officer outside whataburger said I had to put my shoes on so I complied. Then he said ‘wait, are you a dude?’ And I replied ‘that’s not a very nice question to ask.’ Then he replied ‘you can’t go in there like that.’ And he asked the manager and they refused to let me in. I am so angry and disappointed in both whataburger and APD. I have never faced this kind of discrimination as a gender nonconforming person and I will not rest until I get an apology from both APD and Whataburger.”
Tyler also posted a portion of the interaction to Twitter. Video of the event can be seen here. It should be noted that Tyler’s video does not show the entire interaction, and it may very well be that important aspects of the event have not been reported.
However, Tyler does not believe that claim, saying that what took place was an act of discrimination based solely on the fact that he was a man wearing women’s clothes.
“I really believe it was transphobia-driven and I don’t think it had anything to do with what I was wearing.”
In a statement, Whataburger said that the company has a nationwide non-discrimination policy, but also insists that appropriate attire is expected of its customers.
“Whataburger is proud to serve all customers regardless of race, gender or orientation. 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.”
Do you believe Whataburger was right or wrong to deny a man wearing women’s clothes entry into their restaurant? Share your thoughts in the comments below.