Myla Corvidae /SWNS.COM

Retailer Sends Apology Letter After Staff Refused To Let Transgender Shopper Try On Clothes In Menswear Changing Rooms

LGBT+

A transgender shopper has been sent a personal letter of apology from British retailer Marks & Spencer after staff refused to let them try on clothes in the menswear changing rooms.


Myla Corvidae, 30, was born female and now identifies as transgender non-binary using they/them pronouns.

Myla Corvidae /SWNS.COM

They had picked up a few items of clothing from the menswear section of M&S in Aberdeen, Scotland, and wanted to try them on in the store.

But a member of staff told them they could not try the clothes on in the changing rooms by the menswear section.

Myla says they were told the facilities were "only for men" during the incident on December 31, 2019.

A spokesman for M&S admitted "a mistake was made" and the store has apologized - including a personal letter from the manager.

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Myla, of Aberdeen, said:

"I'd picked up some shirts and jumpers from the menswear section and went into the changing rooms nearby. There was no attendant so I just went on in."
"I left the changing room to grab a bigger size in one of the jumpers and a female attendant approached me on the shop floor."
"She told me I couldn't use the changing rooms there as they were 'only for men' and said that I had to use the changing rooms downstairs which are for women."
"I was utterly shocked and the only thing I could think of to say was 'I'm not female' to which she looked me up and down, apologized and walked off."
"I felt sick, like I was being accused of some kind of crime just for trying on clothes. Afterwards, I went home and cried - I have never been accosted like that in a store before."
"I had to go back in and speak to someone in store because no one took it seriously the first time and I started crying even trying to talk about it again with them."

Myla Corvidae /SWNS.COM

Myla had been shopping in the Aberdeen City Center branch of Marks & Spencer regularly for the past five years before this happened.

Following the incident, Myla has complained to Marks & Spencer who have formally apologized to them both in person and via letter.

Despite the apology from the company, Myla feels unable to return to the shop due to the distress caused on that day.

Myla said:

"I don't think the apology was enough to be honest, it shouldn't have ever happened to start with and I have lost confidence in Marks & Spencer as a company for standing up for trans folk like myself."
"I still feel scared to shop at Marks & Spencer in case it happens again elsewhere or if I have to deal with that same person again."
"The fact that I saw a female using the space at the same time in full view of the attendant when I left the changing rooms just made it so much more of a personal attack."
"I honestly don't think I would go back there, I don't want to have to experience something like that again or see that staff member again."
"I am still very much upset by what happened and if I were to go back I wouldn't go on my own and I would not be shopping for clothes there again."

Myla Corvidae /SWNS.COM

An M&S spokesperson said:

"With our fitting rooms we only offer individual lockable cubicles and this is to ensure every customer feels comfortable and has the privacy they need."
"The fitting rooms are located within our womenswear and menswear departments and therefore are mainly used by customers of that gender. However, as an inclusive retailer and in line with most other retailers, we allow customers the choice of fitting room in respect of how they identify themselves."
"Clearly on this occasion a mistake was made, we have apologized to our customer for this incident, additionally our store manager wrote a personal apology assuring the customer they have spoken to the team."
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