A University of Texas student who identifies as gender queer was denied entry to a Whataburger chain restaurant in Austin because of their attire (right).
Is it a conservative look? No. But it was past midnight at the burger joint near the UT campus — if a female student stumbled in after a night of partying wearing the same thing, think she’d get served? We tend to think so.
Tyler Grant, who prefers gender-neutral pronouns, was told their outfit was too revealing, too “see-through.” But what is actually being revealed? Tyler’s thighs? Shocking. Shoulders? The horror.
The conflict began when an off-duty Austin police officer working security for the restaurant approached a barefoot Tyler outside and said they had to put their shoes on. It’s important to note that on first look, the guard only saw one problem with the outfit — no shoes.
Tyler complied. “Wait, are you a dude?” the off-duty officer told them, according to Tyler. Tyler replied, “That’s not a very nice question to ask.” That’s when the officer said, “You can’t go in there like that.”
He went inside and fetched the manager.
In the clip, we see Tyler trying to explain that the outfit isn’t revealing anything that would justify denying service.
Tyler later wrote on Facebook:
“I was wearing two inches of hip/butt pads, 2 pairs of dancers tights, and three pairs of nude panty hose. If it were see through then she would have seen my brightly colored underwear, which also covered up everything essential anyway, but you couldn’t even see those.”
Whataburger Corporate Communications insists that the incident was by the book. They put out the following statement:
“Whataburger is proud to serve all customers regardless of race, gender or orientation. This wasn’t an issue of gender but of appropriate attire as this guest was dressed in lingerie. Again, we welcome everyone into our restaurants but our customers’ experience is our top priority. We are reviewing these events with our team members and will take appropriate action if needed.”
“I really believe it was transphobia-driven and I don’t think it had anything to do with what I was wearing,” Tyler told San Antonio Express-News.
Tyler, who has been to the restaurant several times in the past without incident, plans to consult the university’s Legal Services for Students division for advice on possible legal action.