My name is Lisa P and I am a Transgendered Female. I would like to share with all of you an unpleasant experience that I had at the Shop Rite store in West Haven CT this month (April 2012). Actually it was a lot more than unpleasant and I am appalled at what happened and hope that all of my sisters and brothers out there in the gay community will help me send a message to Shop Rite stores across the country that we will not stand for this treatment and that we deserve respect wherever we go.
Well, here is my story: I have lived as a woman for almost 3 years now, I was born a man, but that is not who I am. I am a woman who is trapped in a mans body. This is the way I choose to live and I should have the right to do so in peace and without harrassment from others, let alone a major grocery chain. One day this month myself and my boyfriend went shopping at the Shop Rite store here in West Haven. We were going to pick up some odds and ends that we needed in addition to things we had already purchased earlier. So here we were minding our own business and almost from the very beginning we noticed this older white guy, obviously a Shop Rite employee (the hint was the green smock - uniform he was wearing) following us through the store. So we went through produce and a few other aisles in the store and this guy was just always right behind us. everytime we took an item and placed it in our carriage, he would fix the other boxes or whatever we took. At first we thought maybe he was just trying to fill the gaps from the products that we had taken but he just kept following us. finally I turned to him nicely and asked him if there was a problem and why was he following us. what he said totally shocked me.
He began to verbal assault us right there in the store in front of other customers (at least I thought I was a customer - that's what I was trying to be anyway). He told me that he knew what we were and that we disgusted him, he said God was going to get us and that we were not living be his rules. I thought this guy was just some kind of religious fanatic and then he said the words : "We don't like your kind here". I said "my kind?" to which he replied you're gay, you're a f*g and here you are in public all dressed like a girl. I then said gently to him to try and educate him that we transgendered are people too and while we may be different in some ways, we are still people. He told me all kinds of crazy things and then asked that we not touch anything that we were not going to buy as to not get other customers sick. I told him sir, I assure you I am not sick with anything to which he started saying all kinds of things as to AIDS and HIV and kept calling me a Homo, to which I kept correcting him and telling him I was indeed transgendered. Finally I had had enough of his abuse. I walked up to the customer service desk and asked for a manager, and now I see where this guy got his way of thinking. When I talked to the manager, he listened and seemed nice enough, however after I told him what had occurred, instead of saying he would have a talk with this gentleman, he told me that I had chose to live my lifestyle and unfortunately there are some people who don't agree with it and that I should expect this type of treatment and that he was sure that I got this type of treatment everywhere. I replied that he was wrong and then I asked him what he thought and he told me personally he thought that all transgendered were "freaks" and that we would all burn in hell some day.
All I know is that I was strongly discriminated against and when I was leaving my carriage to leave the store because I now refuse to shop where I will be treated in this manner. He gestured to the old man to come take my stuff ad put it back and mumbled something like good riddance or similar. So please do not shop at Shop Rite. maybe they'll get the message that we are people too.
Thank you for your support.