US: Austin lingerie shop owner admits he ‘messed up’ by refusing to serve trans woman

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The owner of an Austin lingerie shop has conceded it was “dumb” of him to refuse to allow a trans woman to have a bra fitting.

Last weekend, Kylie Jack was told she would not be allowed to have a bra fitting in Petticoat Fair, because she has yet to have gender confirmation surgery.

Her Facebook complaint went viral, when she wrote: “today I went for a bra fitting at Petticoat Fair, where an employee humiliated me by asking for ID stating I was female and saying I needed bottom surgery in order to get a fitting. If you are in solidarity with trans women, please boycott Petticoat Fair until they remove their transphobic and cissexist policies.”

Shop owner Kirk Andrews, who was besieged with complaints following the incident, initially defended the policy, saying: “those who might be or who outwardly appear to be men (regardless of how they are dressed)… can pose a safety risk to the Petticoat Fair staff.”

However, Andrews has since conceded he was wrong, and is working to change the policy.

He told Keye TV: “In hindsight it was a pretty dumb decision on my part to have that, to have that policy.

“Maybe people can see that educating yourself, talking about it, and coming together and trying to find a common solution to something is better than screaming at each other.

Andrews added in a Facebook statement: “We’ve made this a priority and are working to develop a policy that is inclusive, respectful, and sensitive to all of our customers and employees.

“There is a learning curve – we are experts in the women’s intimate apparel business; and simply were not educated in some of the issues we’re coming to understand now.

“We messed up. We are sorry for that, and we are working diligently to do better. We also apologize to any transgender person who has felt unwelcome or was turned away from our store in the past.

“On a personal note, I want to thank Kylie for the respectful way that she has handled this entire situation. I admire her bravery in coming forward to fight for what she believes in.”

The shop said it is working with the trans community on a new policy, which it expects to have enacted within two weeks.