May 12, 2008

Transgender Rights Group to Hold Press Conference to Announce Settlement of Lawsuit Against West Village Restaurant that Ejected Lesbian Patron After Gay Pride March

Activists and community leaders praise settlement for sending strong message that discrimination will not be tolerated

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, MAY 12, 2008 - The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) will hold a press conference Tuesday at the New York State Supreme Court in lower Manhattan to announce the settlement of a suit filed against a West Village restaurant that ejected a lesbian patron following the city's Gay Pride march because a bouncer thought that she was too masculine to be in the women's restroom. Among other things, the settlement in the case, Farmer v. Caliente Cab Restaurant Company, Inc., requires the restaurant to amend its non-discrimination policies, institute gender sensitivity trainings and pay damages to plaintiff Khadijah Farmer.

            WHAT:  Press Conference

            WHEN:  Tuesday, May 13, 11:30 am

            WHERE:  Outside the Courthouse at 60 Centre Street, Manhattan (across street from courthouse steps)

            WHO:  Plaintiff Khadijah Farmer and family; Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund; community leaders and activists

            WHY:  "I'm very happy that the restaurant has taken appropriate steps to ensure that all patrons, regardless of how masculine or feminine they appear, are treated with dignity and respect," Farmer said. "People come in all shapes and sizes, and they shouldn't be discriminated against because they don't match someone's expectations of how masculine or feminine they should be," she added.  "People are routinely harassed and abused when they fail to conform to expectations about gender, especially in places like  restrooms," TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman, one of Farmer's lawyers, added. "Today's settlement marks a step forward in ensuring that people have equal access to public accommodations like restrooms and restaurants without regard to their gender identity or expression."