Monday, September 10, 2007

Transgender men outraged over mall bathroom incident

Simon Adriane (left) and Sean Brochin

Story Published: Sep 7, 2007 at 7:47 PM PDT
KOMO Staff
Watch the story
SEATTLE -- Two transgender men say they're the victims of discrimination after they were kicked out of a downtown mall for allegedly using the wrong restroom. Trouble began when Simon Adriane and Sean Brochin needed to use the bathroom after watching a movie at Pacific Place mall in downtown Seattle. Adriane and Brochin, who were both born female but consider themselves male, entered the men's bathroom, which upset a man in teh bathroom. But the mall claims the men were simply disruptive. "He was screaming 'you're a woman, you can't be in here!'" said Adriane. "The first thing I thought is 'oh no, not again.' Because it happened many times in my life," Brochin said. Adriane tried calming the man. "I said I'm not a girl, I'm just here to pee," he said. But the customer called security. "Security was banging on the door and ordered us to get out," Adriane said. The security guard escorted the pair out of the bathroom and out of the mall. According to the state Human Rights Commission, transgenders are protected and have the right to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. But the commission recommends they use the unisex or family restroom to avoid wrestling with gender issues. In this case, Adriane and Brochin said it was occupied.The two plan to file a formal discrimination complaint against the mall, with the state and the city. Their actions could be a crucial test of the state's year-old gay rights law."We've never had this kind of experience and we are going to revisit some of our procedures," said mall spokesperson Lynn Beck. Beck says it could mean some retraining of security. "I was scared, angry and humiliated," Brochin said. Brochin said he typically doesn't like to talk about his personal details, but said he outed himself to his boss on Friday so that he can speak out and raise awareness of the issue. The restroom incident sparked a protest at the mall's bathroom. Dozens of people who are in the city attending the Gender Odyssey Conference staged what they called a "pee-in."


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