Primark investigating after trans woman ‘refused entry’ to women’s changing room

Primark told PinkNews on Wednesday that it is investigating an alleged incident involving a transgender customer at its Coventry store.

On Tuesday, Twitter user  @n_m_king wrote that one of their friends was “refused entry” into the store’s women’s changing room by a member of Primark staff.

In the tweet, @n_m_king claimed that her friend was forced to show her passport before she could access the changing room and did not receive an apology for her treatment.


In a statement to PinkNews, a spokesperson for Primark said it was aware of the complaint posted to Twitter and that “we welcome all customers to use the fitting rooms of their choice.”

“We are aware of a customer’s complaint regarding their experience at our Coventry store and are in touch with them as we investigate as a matter of urgency,” the Primark spokesperson said.

PinkNews reached out to @n_m_king for more information but they did not respond at press time.

General atmosphere at the Primark U.S. Grand Opening Store Celebration at Primark Downtown Crossing on September 9, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Paul Marotta/Getty)

It is not the first time Primark has been criticised for its treatment of transgender people.

In May 2015, another transgender woman encountered a similar problem when store staff in an Ipswich branch of Primark allegedly refused her access to female changing rooms. Joni Bendall, 26 years old at the time, said the incident had made her “dysphoric.”

In February 2018, Primark lost a discrimination court case lodged against the chain by a transgender employee.

Alexandra de Souza E Souza was awarded £47,000 by a tribunal who ruled that she was “bullied out of” her role as a retail assistant at Primark Oxford Street in London after facing harassment over her gender. 

During her time at Primark, De Souza claimed, she was harassed by her co-workers, who mocked her chosen name, sprayed her with men’s perfume and commented on her sexuality, voice and appearance. 

A report published by LGBT charity Stonewall earlier this year found that trans people in Britain still encounter day-to-day discrimination in several aspects of their lives, from education to the workplace.

41 percent of trans people and three in 10 non-binary people (31 percent) experienced hate crimes because of their chosen identity.

The report also showed that 53 percent of young trans people between the ages of 18 and 23 have experienced abuse because of their transgender identity. This sort of abuse often remains unreported. If reported, however, some transgender people do not feel supported by the police or experience even further discrimination, the Stonewall report found.