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Transgender woman who criticised Southern Rail staff for twice calling her ‘SIR’ is blasted by This Morning viewers who insist it was probably a genuine mistake
- Katie Yeomans began transitioning in 2015 and has had reassignment surgery
- The 60-year-old is seeking compensation from Southern Rail
- Claimed two members of staff ‘mis-gendered’ her by calling her ‘sir’
- Was criticised by This Morning viewers who believe it could have been a mistake
A transgender woman came under fire from This Morning viewers after she criticised rail workers who called her ‘sir’.
Katie Yeomans, 66, who was known as David before she started transitioning in 2015, explained she was left feeling ‘angry and insulted’ after she was ‘mis-gendered’ by two members of Southern Rail staff.
Speaking on the programme, Katie explained a train guard first called her ‘sir’ when she asked for information on her route to Portsmouth.
On the second occasion, a ticket desk worker referred to her as ‘sir’ when she asked for directions.
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Katie Yeomans, 66, opened up about an upsetting ordeal, which saw her addressed as ‘Sir’ by a member of staff at a train station on This Morning today
A separate This Morning viewer took to Twitter to reveal they too have been addressed by the incorrect gender but do not take offence
While some viewers were sympathetic towards Katie, others claimed she was being unduly harsh on the rail workers and claimed it could have been an honest mistake.
One posted: ‘I don’t think it’s fair to say they deliberately called Katie “Sir”.’
Another wrote: ‘Oh for God’s sake! An old woman in my shop called me son once. Stop being insensitive it happens to anyone not just transgender people! Get over it!’
A third vented: ‘It’s people like you that make the issues that some people have re gender reassignment! I don’t have an issue with that.. but have an issue with you! Complaining you were called sir & then called ma’am.’
However, others said they ‘understood’ why Katie was upset by the ordeal.
A separate user added: ‘I have no doubt that because of the life changing process Katie will of course be sensitive to being misgendered. #ThisMorning.’
While other social media users were supportive of Katie and understood why she was upset after being ‘misgendered’
Katie started taking hormone tablets in 2015 and received a female birth certificate in 2016. She underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2017.
Recalling the second incident with the ticket officer, Katie said: ‘I dress as female, I wore a pink coat and scarf. I had purchased my ticket, showed my railcard. I asked “what platform is it?”‘
To which the worker replied: ‘It’s platform one, sir.’
Katie admitted she felt ‘angry and insulted’ by the error to Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby after undergoing transitioning two years ago
Katie replied: ‘I said: “This is the second time in two weeks I’ve been misgendered”.’
Katie revealed the staff member offered ‘excuses’ as to why he called her ‘sir’.
She continued: ‘First of all he said he didn’t see me, and then he said “I didn’t see you because my glasses were steamed up”.’
When asked if the comment was ‘malicious’ by co-host Phillip Schofield, she said: ‘It’s very hard to say. First time maybe not. He may have made a mistake.
‘But the second time wasn’t a mistake. I wrote, and told them they breached the equality act in 2010. The first guard claimed he called me “ma’am”, but no one calls anyone ma’am these days.’
Katie was offended by the remarks because her family, friends and neighbours have dealt with her transition very well and supported her throughout
Katie has insisted the complaint has not gone to court yet, but the issue is being dealt with by a rail ombudsman in a bid to resolve the matter
Katie started taking hormone medication in 2015, changed her birth certificate to include her female gender in 2016, before transitioning in 2017
Katie was taken aback by the comment because her family, friends, and people she meets are supportive of her transition.
She added: ‘I feel angry and insulted. I have worked tirelessly in transitioning I have a very busy social life.
‘All the people who know me in my area have been absolutely fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for better support. And when that happened it’s very insulting.’
Katie has revealed the complaint is currently being dealt with by a rail ombudsman, and she would be willing to go to court to resolve the issue, while a maximum compensation of £2,500 could be on offer.
Previously a Southern Rail spokesman said: ‘We have looked into this thoroughly and dispute what has been claimed.
‘However with investigations ongoing it would be inappropriate to make any further comment on this particular case.
‘We promote diversity within the organisation and across the rail industry.
‘We have a popular, active LGBTQ+ community at Southern and Govia Thameslink Railway and are vocal champions of employees who identify as such, celebrating them both internally and in the media.’
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Transgender woman blasted by This Morning viewers for complaining about being misgendered