Woman’s fiancée accuses Specsavers staff of transphobia: ‘That’s a man’

Joseph McCormick September 25, 2015
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A woman has accused staff at Specsavers of laughing at her fiancée, and saying “that’s a man” when they thought she was alone.

Pauline and her fiancée Jessica Kirby visited the Livingston, Scotland branch of Specsavers.

Jessica Kirby

When Jess passed a group of staff, Pauline said they laughed at her.

“The staff didn’t know we were together”, Pauline told Metro.

She went on: “As Jess walked past, one of the sales assistants sniggered to her colleague “that’s a man” and had a laugh about it.

“I said ‘that’s my wife and it’s not funny’. The woman who said it scuttled off and her colleague mumbled something about how they weren’t saying what I thought they said.”

Jess posted on social media saying she had cried about the incident, and that it was “very upsetting”.

The couple have received an apology from Specsavers, but Pauline said the staff should have better diversity training.

“It’s a situation that can’t be rectified – the damage is done”, she told Metro.

“I’m pleased that the company do not share the views of this particular employee.

“I’d like them to commit to improved diversity and inclusion training to avoid others having similar experiences.

“It takes a great deal of courage to be a trans person facing intimate situations like eye-tests. To be treated like that is devastating.”

Specsavers released a statement saying the complaint would be dealt with “very seriously”.

“We take all customer complaints very seriously and we are currently investigating the incident with the store directors and the staff involved’, the Spokesperson told

“All customers should feel welcome and comfortable in our stores and we are sorry that the couple were upset by their experience in the Livingston store.”

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