An Urban Outfitters customer claims the fashion brand “misses the mark on gender non-binary acceptance”.
Nicholas Gorham, an actor from New York, US, says they were turned away from a dressing room while attempting to try on womenswear clothes with a female friend in Los Angeles.
Gorham hoped to try on the clothes in a women’s changing room next to their friend, but was led by a member of staff to a different area to change.
Despite explaining to the sales assistant that they were transgender, the member of staff said that Gorham couldn’t change next to “young girls” due to “store policy” .
“My heart was racing – I could hardly breathe,” Gorham wrote in a post for Mic about the experience.
“All of my insecurities came rushing to the surface. All the fear of trying to live as an authentic person; all the work I’ve done to unblock myself from those fears, all of that energy swirled around me in that room.”
Following the incident, Gorham tweeted Urban Outfitters, who sent a direct message in response, stating that the company doesn’t discriminate against any of its customers or employees, but there are currently no binding regulations about gender neutral dressing rooms at this time in the state of California.
But the Huffington Post UK also contacted an Urban Outfitters spokesperson, who told us that the incident was not part of store policy, as all the brand’s fitting rooms are gender neutral.
“We apologise and deeply regret any uncomfortable experience our valued shopper may have had,” they said.
“We are looking into why our policies were not followed consistently.”
In Gorham’s hometown of New York City, there is a law that states anyone can use single occupancy bathrooms and dressing rooms that align with their gender identity – without question.
The actor is now calling for more companies to take matters into their own hands and change regulations, even if laws have yet to be passed.
Gorham wrote that transphobic experiences can have a profound effect on people and should not be trivialised.
“What happens to the kid who sees that their identity is only worth acknowledging when a law is passed?”