Trans teen left in tears and feeling like ‘dirt’ after bar refuses to serve her for ‘not looking like her ID’

A trans teen was refused alcohol at a pub in Glasgow, Scotland. (Stock photograph via Elements Envato)

A trans teen was left in tears after bartenders in Glasgow, Scotland, refused to serve for because she “did not look like her ID”.

Savanna Galloway, 19, swung by Wetherspoons-owned Counting House on George Square Tuesday (September 1) when bar staffers said she did not look like her passport photograph, which was taken before she began to socially transition.

Both a bartender and the manager refused to serve her drinks, BBC Scotland reported, leaving Galloway humiliated as she even offered to take off her wig to prove it was her.

She told the broadcaster that she was first asked for identification when she walked into the pub – she explained that she was trans and door staff let her in.

Trans teen held back tears as bartenders said she ‘didn’t look like’ her ID. 

Due to coronavirus guidelines on eateries, she and her friends had to order their drinks via a mobile app. As the drinks were delivered to the table, the server asked Galloway’s for proof she was over 18.

“That’s not you,” the staffer replied when presented with Galloway’s passport. After involving the Counting House’s manager, both agreed not to accept Galloway’s passport as proof.

“I think it still visibly looks like me,” she pleaded.

“I felt horrible, I didn’t want to cry,” she said. “I waited till [the staff left the table] before I left in tears.

Galloway added: “I felt like absolute dirt.”

“I was lucky enough to be with friends, and that we were in a private area – but if I was rejected in front of loads of people I think it would have felt even worse.”

Since coming out to her loved ones as trans in February, she said minor scuffles with bar staff are commonplace.

“A few times I’ve gone in [to other pubs] and they’ve said ‘that’s not you’, but my voice isn’t very feminine so when I speak it clears up the fact that I am trans, and I tell them that I am too,” she said.

“Training for staff is needed to deal with this in a sensitive manner,” she said, calling on drinking establishments to have better procedures for identifying trans people.

Wetherspoons apologise ‘wholeheartedly for any distress caused’, and vow to review ID procedures. 

A representative for Wetherspoons apologised “wholeheartedly for any distress caused”.

“Because the staff member believed the customer concerned to be under 25, the customer was asked for ID when drinks were taken to the table after being ordered via the app,” they said.

“The picture on the customer’s passport did not bear a resemblance to her and therefore she was asked for another form of acceptable [photo] ID, which unfortunately she could not produce.

“The manager stated correctly that the customer would not be served the alcohol ordered as she did not have ID with a true likeness to her and the cost of the drinks was refunded.

“The incident has shown that providing ID for transgender customers may present difficulties and we will review our processes in the area.”