A transgender man has filed a complaint against a men’s barbershop claiming they refused him service him after calling him an anti-trans slur.
In Tuggerah — a small town 50 miles north of Sydney, Australia — Casey Franklin went to Kingsmen Hair barbershop to get his haircut. He said he asked for a haircut but a barber told him, “We only cut men’s hair.” When he said that he is a man, the barber allegedly responded, “No, you’re not.”
Franklin told his partner Blaise Harris (who was at a nearby store), so Harris went with him to confront the barbers, which led to more harassment. “They told her I wasn’t a real man and called me ‘she’ and ‘a woman’ the whole time,” Franklin said.
Harris, who speaks Arabic, overheard a staff member say in Arabic “another fucking tranny.” (Harris is a transgender woman.)
“I got angry at this point and asked them not to speak about me in that way,” Harris said. “I said ‘How dare you.’ [They] said ‘How do you know what I said?'”
“It has left me annoyed that they treated me like this, and I refuse to allow it to happen to any other member of the transgender community,” Franklin said. He has now filed a complaint with the Anti-Discrimination Board against the men’s barbershop.
The barbershop’s lawyer Doug Eaton presents a slightly different story in his response to the claim. Eaton says that Franklin approached a barber for a haircut, and the barber said, “I’m sorry, we are a men’s-only barber.”
According to Eaton, when Franklin said that he’s a man, the barber responded, “I’m sorry, you are dressed like a woman and I couldn’t tell.”
At this point, Eaton wrote that Franklin got angry. “Mr. Franklin then grabbed his crotch and stated the words, ‘Look, I have a dick.'”
The response accuses the trans couple of saying they wanted to “ruin the shop on social media” in order to get money from “stupid Arabs.”
Franklin says he didn’t grab his crotch. He told Pink News that he was “dressed in all menswear, including a men’s shirt, men’s chino shorts, men’s shoes and a binder which hides my boobs.”
“I have never been, nor would I ever be racist against Arabs or make such comments,” Harris said.
Franklin said that the harassment hasn’t stopped. He said, “They have tried to stare me down, they stand in front of the shop to intimidate me and mumble under their breath when they pass me.”
“They have told me that I’m a liar and that I’m only after money and ruining them. The owner said he didn’t believe anything I said and that he believed it was a false complaint made by a competitor to ruin them.”
A spokesperson for the men’s barbershop refused to comment on the complaint. However, they did misgender Franklin again in the single sentence refusing to comment: “I have no idea what’s going on with that lady.”
Featured image by Jacob Ammentorp Lund via iStock