Trans woman: Lenox banned me from restroom

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A transgender woman accused security personnel at Lenox Square of harassing her and refusing her entry into a family restroom inside the upscale Atlanta mall. 

Courtney Davis told CBS 46 that she hoped to use a family restroom inside the mall instead of a women's restroom to avoid any issues. But security personnel intervened and prevented her from doing so by telling her the restroom was occupied when it wasn't, Davis said.

“No one was in the restroom,” Davis told CBS 46.

When a security officer wouldn't allow Davis in the restroom, she asked to speak to a supervisor. That's when the situation escalated, Davis told CBS 46.

Davis said one of the security officers then started making fun of her for being transgender and became verbally violent.

“I’m going to [expletive] call you what I’m going to call you [because] I’m a free man,” Davis recalled.

Davis said she left the mall and filed a complaint after the altercation in mid July. The mall then offered Davis a $50 gift certificate, which she declined, according to CBS 46.

A spokesperson for Lenox Square disputed Davis' account.

“The family restroom was occupied when she initially attempted entry. Lenox Square would never deny any guest entry into a restroom” said Les Morris, spokesman for Lenox Square, in an email to CBS46.

“Disrespectful interactions with our shoppers are simply not tolerated at Lenox Square,” Morris added.

The statement from Morris added that several members of the mall's security team said that “no profanity or derogatory language was used by the security officer in his interaction with Ms. Davis,” according to Patch.

Yet when CBS 46 reporter Christian De La Rosa asked Morris to spell out the retail outlet's policies concerning restroom access for transgender people, he demurred.

“He replied by saying that he didn't get the point of my questions. We're waiting for an answer,” De La Rosa said in his report on Friday.

Several businesses in Atlanta do get the question – and are taking the lead on transgender access to bathrooms in a state with the fourth-highest transgender population in the U.S.

The incident at Lenox Square comes as access to restrooms for transgender people becomes the latest flashpoint for LGBT equality in Georgia. The state is suing the federal government over guidelines about the treatment of trans students while LGBT advocates are providing students with tools to fight any harassment. State lawmakers are threatening to step into the potty wars early next year.

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