‘It Was Pretty Humiliating’: Deputies Called On Transgender Woman Using Women’s Restroom

BOILING SPRINGS, S.C. (CBS Local) — A transgender woman in South Carolina says she was asked by the manager of a local restaurant “to use the bathroom in the way I was born.”

Drew Jarrell says she was visiting one of her favorite restaurants in Boiling Springs on Thursday when she was stopped by a manager on her way out of the bathroom.

“He had told me that I was to use the bathroom in the way I was born,” she told CBS affiliate WSPA.

Right before leaving the restaurant, Jarrell used the women’s bathroom again. That’s when she says deputies were called to the restaurant.

“It was humiliating,” Jarrell said.

[embedded content]

Jarrell shared video with WSPA of a manager explaining to her that she has to use the men’s bathroom. In the video, the manager said it’s the law in South Carolina.

“Right now we don’t have any public accommodation laws for the state of South Carolina that deals with transgender individuals,” Greenville attorney John Reckenbeil said. “So realistically, it’s up to the business owner at this point in time.”

Reckenbeil says the Supreme Court could make a ruling on the bathroom rights of transgender individuals as early as next year.

WSPA reached out to the restaurant for comment but has not heard back.

Jarrell says she wants to use her experience to educate not to promote hate.

“What happened to Drew is a perfect example of why legal protection in public accommodations and nondiscrimination policies are so critical for us,” said Ivy Hill, executive director of Gender Benders, the largest transgender advocacy group in South Carolina.