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National Car Rental Employee To Trans Customer: "Screwed-Up Man Faggot"

There is an excellent post on Pam's House Blend (http://tinyurl.com/d5wf2m) about this incident. I've cut and pasted the beginning of article below. At the link you'll also find the text of the letter Sarah sent to the airport police explaining -- in her words -- what occurred on April 7th. There is also follow-up from Sarah regarding the responses from the Little Rock Police Department and National Car Rental regarding this incident.

Autumn Sandeen
Pam's House Blend
April 8, 2009

http://tinyurl.com/d5wf2m

Before I begin relate how trans woman Sarah Vestal has reported being called a "screwed-up man faggot" by a National Rental Car employee, I need to first explain a bit about transsexuals' transitioning, and how most transsexuals go through at least a short period of time as being visibly trans.

Basically, when transsexuals transition, there is a period of time where most dress and live as members of one's target sex, instead of the sex assigned to one at birth, but because one still has facial and body features that identify one as the sex assigned at birth, a transsexual is visibly transgender.

Sometimes, those facial and body features that identify one as one's sex at birth are corrected with the use of hormones over a few years time. And sometimes too, these features would require surgery or professional procedures -- such as facial hair removal and facial feminization surgery male-to-female (abbreviated to M2F or MTF) transsexuals, or breast removal for female-to-male (abbreviated to F2M or FTM) transsexuals -- if a trans person is to seamlessly "pass" in their target sex. And sometimes, no matter what one does, one never can seamlessly "pass" in their target sex -- and many in the trans community (like me) don't consider passing as the be all and end all of trans experience.

Essentially, due to this period of time when one is visibly transitioning sexes...Well, trans people don't call this process a transition for nothing.

In the real world, if one is visibly trans, then one often finds oneself on the receiving end of discrimination and verbal harassment. And, sometimes in this atmosphere of discrimination and harassment, violent physical harassment is threatened, and sometimes violent physical harassment actually occurs.

Sometimes, one can't tell if it's anti-gay or anti-transgender hate one is experiencing -- sometimes, that hate is just one and the same thing.

Sarah Vestal's story of an incident at the National Rental Car facility last Tuesday (April 7, 2009) at the Little Rock, Arkansas airport is one where she reports that she was discriminated against and verbally harassed by an employee, and then threatened with physical violence. She reported being called a "screwed-up man faggot" while just trying to return a rental car.

When she complained to the someone who was identified to her as a manager, the first employee allegedly interrupted the identified manager's and her's conversation about her complaint. The employee Sarah was complaining about reportedly threatened to "take the head off the big motha fuckin faggot" for complaining to the manager, and reportedly cocked his fist back as if preparing to strike her.

Sarah then took the next step of reporting the incident to an officer at the Little Rock Police Department there in the airport by a Southwest Airline counter, but she reported that the officer...

...looked at me crying, and said he could not do anything since the man did not physically hit me.

National Car Rental (sometimes referred to a National Rent-A-Car) and Alamo are both subsidiaries of Vanguard Corporation. In 2007, the (International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) announced in 2007 that it had entered into a one year partnership with Vanguard Corporation. The press release for that announcement was entitled IGLTA Partners with Alamo/National Rent-A-Car -- Vanguard Corporation has apparently had at least one significant business relationship with a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender business organization in the past.

National Car Rental, IGLTA, and the Little Rock Police Department were all called for comment for this story, but none replied prior to the publication of this article this morning.

Below the fold is the text of the letter Sarah sent to the airport police explaining -- in her words -- what occurred on April 7th. There is also follow-up from Sarah regarding the responses from the Little Rock Police Department and National Car Rental regarding this incident.

Views: 54

Comment by Abby Jensen on April 13, 2009 at 1:24pm
Ricci, thanks for spreading the word about this despicable incident. For those who want to let National Car Rental, the Little Rock police and others involved in this incident know about their displeasure with the way Sarah was treated, there are names and other contact information at the bottom of Autumn Sandeen's post on PHB.
Comment by Margaret Davis on July 17, 2009 at 10:57pm
Yeah. Thanks for this post. I'm going to warn friends about this National Car Rental employee. He should just mind his business and tend to the cars rather than insult others. Good thing Sarah isn't violent and didn't get any available car parts like big hyundai parts and hit the employee's head.
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Comment by Shirley J. on November 18, 2009 at 10:31am
Basically, when transsexuals in transition, there is a period of time where the majority of dress and live as members of the same sex destination, rather than a sex assigned at birth, but because one still has to face and body identify one as the sex assigned at birth, a visibly transgender transsexual is, which one has a sense of exciting, like generic viagra incidentally, to the same genre. Thanks for letting me share.
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