River is a pre-op transgender woman who is engaged to Jake Wood, also 18, himself a transgender man. The two were enjoying a day out in central Edinburgh, Scotland, as many young couples do. They went to the city’s St James Centre, just a stone’s throw from the world-famous Princes Street, and visited the food court.
River went to use the food court female public toilets, which she had used without any problems for two years previously. She was then pulled aside by a security guard who stopped her from entering the toilets.
The security guard then asked River if she had undergone a sex change, to which she replied no. He then asked “Why have you used the female bathrooms if you haven’t had a sex change?” He then proceeded to ask her for ID. River produced the only ID she had, which happened to be for her cisgender male identity. The security guard glanced at it and stated “This is a male, you are a male and always will be a male.”
River, at this point in tears, then proceeded to return to her fiancé Jake, but was followed by the security guard, who continued to verbally abuse her, including saying “it’s got a penis”.
James Morton of Scottish Transgender Alliance told the Edinburgh Evening News that there is no legal requirement in UK law for a transgender woman to undergo any surgery in order to be legally recognised as female. Moreover, he correctly stated that “Verbally abusing a trans women by calling her ‘it’ and demanding to know whether she has undergone genital surgery is unlawful harassment under the Equality Act 2010 and could even result in criminal charges against the security guard for threatening or abusive behaviour.”
And it thankfully appears this is what is happening Loves. Police Scotland have now launched a hate crime enquiry against the security guard. This is one I shall be following dears and reporting the progress and outcome of.
A few thoughts however about the incident.
I know that River Song is a teen and was in what must have been for her a very threatening situation. No doubt she saw the security guard as an authority figure. However, this jumped-up little Hitler had no right to ask her if she had undergone a sex change, to which River’s response should have been ‘NONE of your fucking business’. He further had no right to ask her for ID, and when he did her response should have been to tell him to go fuck himself. The St James Centre may well be owned by a private company and anyone who enters may be on that company’s property, but their security guards are not a private police force, nor do they have any powers in any way similar to the police. This power-crazed little squit completely overstepped his authority by asking River if she was post-op and asking for ID – and that is before he launched into a tirade of abuse.
Anyone who doubts that consider this; those of you who are, like River, 18 or over, if a security guard asked you if you had a sex change and for ID, would you tell him and supply it? Or would you, like me, be far more likely to put him in his place and possibly ask for the name of his superior?
And if anyone from the firm who supply security for the St James Shopping Centre is reading this, is that the level of professionalism which you look for in your employees? Power-crazed, transphobic bullies who are allowed to voice their own ignorant prejudices? Bigots who will not even recognise transgender people as human beings but refer to them as “it”? And are you not supposed to make your employees aware of equality law in Scotland? I work in customer services and I can only say that by employing such an odious person, your commitment to the same is not only poor, it is absolute zero.
The St James Centre is a squalid shopping centre in any case. In the frenzy to modernise things in the 1960s-70s, the very beautiful Georgian St James Square was demolished to make way for a concrete eyesore which is hated by just about everyone in Edinburgh and the whole of Scotland. The owners of the St James Centre can attempt to deny that if they want, but they cannot deny that is the public feeling or the fact that numerous plans have been put forward to demolish it ever since it opened.
As to their food court, River and Jake, what were you thinking dears? I wouldn’t feed what passes for food in there to my worst enemy – unless he were a bigoted, abusive, fascistic security guard who no doubt gets a hard-on every time he dons his uniform. Please Lovies, there are much nicer places, with much better food, just down the road from the St James. Go there in future. Let the Vittoria restaurant’s gain be the fast food chains and the St James management’s loss.
And don’t worry about me visiting your loos St James management. I wouldn’t be seen dead anywhere in your tacky building.
To River and Jake, the thought of two young transgender people in love makes me all warm and fuzzy inside (yes, I’m soppy, get over it). If you are reading this, best wishes for your forthcoming wedding and your future life together.