A transgender woman who appeared on This Morning, has sparked a lively debate on social media after her vow to seek compensation for being called ‘sir’.
Katie Yeomans, who underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2017, is demanding an apology and £2,500 in damages, after claiming Southern Rail “misgendered” her on two separate occasions.
She claims that two staff members left her feeling “devastated” after wrongly referring to her as “sir”.
And despite Southern Rail vehemently denying her version of events, Katie appeared on This Morning today (Wednesday March 20) to argue the case for transgender equality.
The 66-year-old recalled the first incident which occurred when she was travelling back from a holiday in Gran Canaria.
She said: “I had a dress on. He said ‘just sit down there, sir, and I’ll be with you in a minute’.”
Katie described being left “fuming”, but admits she didn’t say anything at the time as the train was busy and she didn’t want to cause a scene.
However, two weeks later, Katie claims she was called “sir” again, when asking a staff member what platform the Brighton train was on.
The second time, she DID confront the station worker, saying: “‘Can you explain why you called me sir?’ At first he said that he couldn’t see me, but he later said ‘I didn’t see you because my glasses were steamed up’.”
Katie strongly believed the member of staff had known she was a woman, because she was wearing an ID badge.
However when Phil asked whether it had been “done maliciously”, she replied: “The first time, maybe… The second time was definitely not a mistake.”
Viewers watching from home were conflicted about her demands for compensation, with some believing it was an honest mistake, while others defended Katie’s rights.
#thismorning this ‘woman’ is ridiculous. I’m fully supportive of the LGBTQ+ community but if someone you’ve never met before spoke to you on the train and heard your deep voice, they would probably assume you’re a male? Not worth claiming for. It’s a simple mistake.
— Holly (@Hollylane_) March 20, 2019
I'm not being rude but this transgender woman on #thismorning still sounds like a man, if the people on the train answered without looking they would generally think it was a man speaking. Also It could of been a genuine mistake and doesn't need to be taken this far @thismorning
— Ashleigh Crowther (@AshleighCrowth1) March 20, 2019
Please please please, stop the world I want to get off.
We are moving towards a society where no one will dare talk to anyone for fear of being taken to court for offending someone, and in this day and age, that can't be a good thing, can it ? #thismorning
— Mags (@mags171124) March 20, 2019
One tweeter blasted: “Sick of all the misgendering [bleep] now! If you really feel like you have to change gender, then cool! Best of luck to you, but you have to forgive the odd slip up…”
Another agreed, saying: “#thismorning This woman is ridiculous. I’m fully supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, but if someone you’ve never met before spoke to you on the train and heard your deep voice, they would probably assume you’re a male? Not worth claiming for. It’s a simple mistake.”
A third said: “I’m sure people in a work place don’t do it intentionally. The way the world is now nobody knows what you can call a damn gender without causing an offence to someone #ThisMorning.”
“It could have been a genuine mistake and doesn’t need to be taken this far,” said another.
#ThisMorning Not being funny but no one would tolerate this if it was a homophobic comment. Using the wrong pronouns for transgender people can be really upsetting and heartbreaking and when somebody does it with intent that's even worse.
— Natasha. (@_NatashaClough) March 20, 2019
Don’t get why people can be nasty 2 transgender people
I can think of nothing braver than changing every last thing about yourself 2 be who you really are
Trans people you are so so strong ❤️ #thismorning
— Sean ferguson (@fergu65) March 20, 2019
However, one totally disagreed, tweeting: “Don’t get why people can be nasty to transgender people. I can think of nothing braver than changing every last thing about yourself to be who you really are. Trans people you are so so strong #thismorning.”
Another said: “#ThisMorning Not being funny but no one would tolerate this if it was a homophobic comment. Using the wrong pronouns for transgender people can be really upsetting and heartbreaking and when somebody does it with intent that’s even worse.”