STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A woman, who thinks she is a man, claims she was barred from using the men’s room at Lyons Pool in Tompkinsville, and says the encounter with Parks Department workers left her feeling “disgraced” and “humiliated.”
“I’m no different than anyone else,” ‘Bryan’ Ellicott, 24, a former Staten Islander, said during a Manhattan press conference on Tuesday, a day after filing suit against the city.
Ellicott has been living as a male since 2012 and is currently taking “hormone replacements”, but she hasn’t yet had a sex-change. She appeared with her attorneys and members of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund outside the Supreme Court building in Manhattan.
“I’m transgender but I’m also a Staten Islander,” Ellicott, now a Manhattan resident, said outside Supreme Court. “When I’m home, I want to feel welcome.”
She says the incident has increased her fear of using public rest rooms and resulted in her avoiding such places.
Yet, she has shown no concern for other peoples fear or concerns of parents having their under aged boys see a naked woman in their dressing room. Nor has Ellicott seemed to care if the men or little children would feel comfortable changing in front of a woman.
The suit comes nearly a year after the alleged incident at Lyons Pool, where Ellicott claims she was confronted by a pool staff member and ordered to use the women’s locker room or leave the facility.
Ellicott previously changed in the men’s locker room about 30 minutes prior to the confrontation, according to the lawsuit. She claims that she did not remove her t-shirt nor her binder, which she wears to hide her breasts. She claims she was not confronted by any patrons or employees while using the men’s room at the time.
After this initial visit to the men’s locker room, Ellicott made her way to the pool wearing swim trunks and a black t-shirt. She claims that she felt warm in the t-shirt, and that she decided she would change into a white t-shirt, which she stored in her locker. Court documents say the rules of Lyons Pool require all patrons who wish to enter the pool to be wearing a white t-shirt.
But upon returning to change, Ellicott contends she was approached by a male employee of the Parks Department who told her she was not allowed in the men’s locker room.
The employee claimed to have been responding to a complaint by concerned people at the pool, Ellicott says.
After asking to speak with a supervisor, Ellicott claims, two other staff members insisted that she was not allowed access to the men’s locker room where little boys were changing.
None of the employees have been named in court documents.
The suit, filed on June 2 by the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), with pro bono counsel Clearly Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, claims that the city agency “disregarded the medically, legally, and socially recognized sex of a transgender individual.”
The suit asks the New York Court to rule that denying a person access to a restroom or locker room that they claim to be constitutes discrimination in violation of the New York City Human Rights Law.
They are demanding the courts to allow people to go into locker rooms based on the claim that they are what ever they feel like, regardless if they really are or not. The fact that she still has a vagina and breasts nor the the fact children will be exposed seem to be relevant to them.
The Human Rights Law prohibits refusal or withholding of accommodations or facilities of a public place from an individual on account of that person’s actual or perceived disability.
As defined by the New York City Administrative Code, Ellicott, who is transgender and has gender dysphoria, or gender identity disorder, is disabled, according to the suit.
Ellicott, who attended the College of Staten Island, says she took her father’s name when she “legally” became a man.
“His strength and compassion is what I strive for,” she said of her father, whose name was spelled Brian.
There has been a lawsuit asking for transgender rights in New York City in the past, but it was ruled against, according to a TDLEF Executive Director Michael Silverman.
“We are looking for it to go the other way this time,” Silverman said, citing the prevalence of such occurrences around the city.
“Incidents like this one severely restrict the ability of transgender people to fully participate in society,” Silverman said. “This lawsuit sends a strong message: Everyone should have equal access to public facilities.”
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