Non-binary person slams Sainsbury’s for ‘misgendering’ them
Updated | A non-binary person has accused Sainsbury’s of misgendering them in a store in Guildford after they attempted to buy cigarettes.
Jamie Windust, who is editor-in-chief of FRUITCAKE Magazine, spoke to PinkNews after writing on Twitter that the cashier didn’t believe the ID was theirs.
“This has never happened before, I’ve been allowed into bars etc with my ID where it is scanned and verified digitally so there’s never been an issue,” Windust told PinkNews.
Windust added: “But as a non-binary person I worry that this could be an issue just because ID and official documentation doesn’t recognise my gender identity.”
The 21-year-old reportedly showed the Sainsbury’s cashier ID which has a picture of them on from four years ago. “I do look different, however not unrecognisably different,” Windust wrote on Twitter.
But the cashier reportedly asked her manager and another staff member to look over the ID at the till. According to Windust the staff could be heard saying “this gentleman doesn’t look like his picture, I’m not sure it’s him.”
Windust said they then continued to show other forms of photo ID to the cashier, before eventually being served by the staff member.
Windust told PinkNews that the reported incident is “a clear example of the ways in which corporations use our queer identities as a way to appear liberal and market themselves to us, without including real life on the ground change.”
“We would rather [Sainsbury’s] implement changes for your staff and customers to feel comfortable in the store, as trans and gender non-conforming people – and for all types of people,” they added.
Windust told PinkNews they didn’t report the incident to Sainsbury’s because they thought it would be hard to describe and explain their gender identity, and worried that they wouldn’t be empathetic.
While on their Twitter thread Windust hit out further: “This wouldn’t happen to a cis woman or a cis man who needed to show ID, and it was a) embarrassing and b) victimising as I’m just stood there literally pleading with a woman to allow her to validate my literal existence,”
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“Which as a non-binary person is something that I have to do everyday anyway just by living and thriving so !!!,” they added.
In addition they claimed that there’s “red tape” surrounding how they can present in their photo ID because they can’t wear “excessive makeup”. They continued that the only way for them to win would be for stores to be inclusive.
In a statement to PinkNews, Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We are an inclusive retailer and we’re very sorry for any embarrassment we may have caused Jamie. This was not our intention.
“Our store colleagues are responsible for checking IDs to ensure that age-restricted products are not sold to anyone who is underage.”
Sainsbury’s has sponsored numerous LGBT pride parades and events over the last few years. This year the company is sponsoring Leeds pride. But it’s not the first time the supermarket has been criticised by the LGBT community.
In 2016 a “gay kiss-in” protest was held in a Hackney store after a security guard forced Thomas Rees and his boyfriend Joshua Bradwell to leave the store after a customer complained about them ‘touching inappropriately’.