Trans woman repeatedly misgendered and harassed. All she wanted to do was go on a romantic date with her boyfriend

20 Stories: Restaurant apologises after staff harassed trans customer

A trans woman who was misgendered by door staff at 20 Stories, a Manchester restaurant, asked to speak to the manager about the discrimination – but when he called her, he misgendered her too.

Jamie Rose Dee, 25, visited the restaurant 20 Stories in Spinningfields, Manchester, for drinks with her boyfriend on Wednesday, 12 August.

She told Manchester Evening News: “I’ve always had it in my mind that I wanted to go as it looked like such a nice place.

“When we got there, there was a bit of a queue outside so we just went up to the bouncer and asked if there were any tables for us to have drinks.

“He just looked at me in such a negative way, cut me off speaking and pointed to the side where the queue was.”

Dee and her boyfriend patiently queued up, but when they reached the front, the same member of staff asked them to fill out a form with their contact details, and the situation got even worse.

She continued: “When we got to the entrance, he said to me, ‘Can you sign here, bro?’ It made me feel really uncomfortable.

“After I signed the form, he said, ‘Thanks mate.’ with a real emphasis on it.”

After they sat down at the bar in the Manchester restaurant and Dee had time to “decompress”, she realised she “couldn’t sit there and enjoy it” after being misgendered, and so the couple decided to leave.

She added: “As we walked out you could just tell that the doorman knew because he looked so guilty and quite nervous.”

As they were leaving, another member of staff asked if they were OK, and the couple told her that the doorman had made anti-trans comments.

The restaurant’s manager eventually reached out to Dee, and she said she had a “tiny smidgen of hope that this was going to be resolved”.

However, she was soon proved wrong.

She said: “I didn’t want anything other than confirmation that LGBT+ people are welcome there.

“I had it in my head that I was going to ask them what kind of diversity training they had in place but when the manager rang me and asked if it was Jamie he was speaking to, he went, ‘Hello sir.’

“I asked him to repeat himself and he said ‘hello sir’ again. I was so angry because the whole point of the conversation was because I had been misgendered. How tone deaf can you be?

“At that point, I realised an apology wasn’t going to be enough and I just put the phone down. I knew I wasn’t going to get anything.”

Another queer customer also felt discriminated against by 20 Stories restaurant on the same night as Jamie Rose Dee was misgendered.

On the same night that Jamie Rose Dee was misgendered by door staff at Manchester restaurant 20 Stories, another queer customer was also targeted for their gender expression.

Teddy Lamb, 30, who identifies as non-binary, booked a table at the restaurant on Wednesday evening, but was told by staff that they didn’t fit the “dress code”.

The dress code at 20 Stories prohibits flip flops, sweatpants and football shirts. Lamb said they were wearing a green camo top and pink tapered trousers.

They said the experience was “mortifying”, and added: “It wasn’t an expected experience in Manchester. That’s not what the city is known for.”

On Thursday, 13 August, D&D London, the restaurant group which owns 20 Stories, released a statement addressing the two complaints.

The restaurant said it was “extremely sorry to hear” about what had happened, and that it had “launched a full investigation both internally and with our external security team”.

It continued: “These incidents have highlighted the need for us to relook at all our procedures across the group… We have opened a direct dialogue with the individuals affected – to discuss the incident, to apologise and to learn from the mistakes made… We are committed to learning from this.”