A high street store has apologised to a Brighton drag queen after he was told he shouldn’t be buying women’s clothes when he tried to get a refund on a faulty silk dress.
Charlie Bridge, who performs as Victoria Vanity, said he was outraged when a store manager at TK Maxx suggested his male physique was to blame for a seam on the floor length white dress coming undone.
The store’s head office has since offered him a £50 gift card, but Charlie says he wants to highlight the transphobia he experienced and to protect others.
Charlie, 23, from Kemp Town, said: “The manager suggested that the outfit was not designed for men and that I didn’t have a women’s physique and shouldn’t be wearing women’s clothes or partaking in his brand.
“I contacted head office and was told that three other members of staff from the store had complained about what he had said.
“I’m not shopping with TK Maxx any more. I’m a size 10-12, I’m very slender. I’ve got a better figure than most women.
“I love going out in drag and it’s a really good way of expressing your personality as an alter ego, it’s amazing.
“Because I am a strong person this issue didn’t affect me, however it could have really hurt a vulnerable person perhaps trying to express themselves.”
A spokeswoman for TK Maxx said: “At TK Maxx, a core value of our Company is treating all of our customers and associates with dignity and respect.
“We value diversity and are committed to creating an environment of inclusion. We regret that our customer may not have received the best service in this instance and sincerely apologise.
“We continue to train and embed our policy with our associates.”