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Marks & Spencer apologises to non-binary person for refusing to allow them to use men’s changing rooms

Emma Powys Maurice February 21, 2020
Marks & Spencer

Myla Corvidae has now lost her confidence in the clothing store (Screenshot: Independent/SWNS.COM)

Marks & Spencer has been forced to issue an apology to a transgender non-binary person after a member of staff refused to let them try on clothes in the men’s changing rooms.

Myla Corvidae, 30, was shopping in the menswear section of the Marks & Spencer branch in Aberdeen. After finding a number of clothes they went to the men’s changing rooms to try them on. With no attendant in sight, they walked straight in with no problems.

But when they left the changing rooms to look for a different size, Corvidae was told by a member of staff that they could not try the clothes on in the men’s facilities.  They said the reason they were given was because they were “only for men”.

“She told me I couldn’t use the changing rooms there as they were only for men and said that I had to use the changing rooms downstairs which are for women,” Corvidae explained.

“I was utterly shocked and the only thing I could think of to say was ‘I’m not female’ to which she looked me up and down, apologised and walked off.

“I felt sick, like I was being accused of some kind of crime just for trying on clothes. Afterwards, I went home and cried – I have never been accosted like that in a store before.

“I had to go back in and speak to someone in store because no one took it seriously the first time and I started crying even trying to talk about it again with them.”

After leaving the store Corvidae made a complaint. A spokesperson for Marks & Spencer later admitted the member of staff made “a mistake,” and the retailer gave a formal apology to Corvidae, both in person and via letter.

Statement from Marks & Spencer.

A spokesperson for Marks & Spencer said that the store offers fitting rooms with individual lockable cubicles “to ensure every customer feels comfortable and has the privacy they need”.

“The fitting rooms are located within our womenswear and menswear departments and therefore are mainly used by customers of that gender, however, as an inclusive retailer and in line with most other retailers, we allow customers the choice of fitting room in respect of how they identify themselves,” they said.

“Clearly on this occasion a mistake was made, we have apologised to our customer for this incident, additionally our store manager wrote a personal apology assuring the customer they have spoken to the team.”

But Corvidae feels the apology isn’t enough. “It shouldn’t have ever happened to start with and I have lost confidence in Marks and Spencer as a company for standing up for trans folk like myself,” they said.

“I am still very much upset by what happened and if I were to go back I wouldn’t go on my own and I would not be shopping for clothes there again.”

More: Aberdeen, changing rooms, Marks & Spencer, non-binary

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