McDonald’s security guard asks trans woman to ‘prove’ she’s female to use women’s toilet

A photo of trans woman Paula Griffin in front of a camera after playing a match with her women's football team

A trans woman says she was asked to “prove” she was female by a male security guard who allegedly followed her into a McDonald’s bathroom.

Paula Griffin, 57, says the incident occurred when she went into a women’s bathroom in a McDonald’s restaurant in Peckham, London on Monday (17 October).

Writing on Twitter, Griffin said a male security guard followed her into the toilets, “shouted something, then demanded to see my passport when I came out”.

“That he felt he’d the power to do that to any woman not meeting HIS female criteria – scary”, she wrote.

Griffin produced her passport which shows that she is female, but she was left shaken by the incident, she tells PinkNews.

Managers subsequently intervened and brought her outside where they gave her a “half-hearted apology” for the incident.

UK’s ‘bullying culture’

Griffin went home to “clear her head” and decided to file a complaint with the company.

“Allegedly they’re investigating it, but I’m not holding my breath,” she tells PinkNews.

PinkNews has contacted McDonald’s for comment, but it has yet to respond.

This isn’t the first time Griffin has faced abuse and comments about her gender identity in public places.

She recently had a man shout at her in Peckham, and she says a group of boys jeered at her when she was playing football with her women’s team in London.

Paula Griffin (C) with friends.

Paula Griffin (C) with friends at a Peckham Town FC event. (Peckham Town FC)

“When I’ve actually had transphobic comments made in real life, 99 per cent of the time it comes from men, not from women,” Griffin says.

“I think it’s a follow-on from the bullying culture in this country.

“A lot of the gender-critical feminist movement is being led by middle-class white women who fear they’re losing out to trans-inclusive younger women.”

‘Demonised by politicians’

Griffin has recently returned from a trip to Peru where she says she was able to use women’s toilets everywhere without scrutiny.

She’s also been able to go about her business “without problems” in other European countries which would often be regarded as more politically conservative than the UK.

Griffin believes the incident in McDonald’s happened as a direct result of the intense focus on trans women in the UK from politicians and the media.

“As trans women we are being demonised in this country for political gain,” she says.

As for “gender critical” feminists, she says: “They’re trying to exclude us. They care nothing about facilities, they care nothing about funding, they care nothing about representation, they care nothing about women’s sport.”