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Paula Witherspoon, Texas Transgender Woman, Ticketed For Using Women's Restroom

Posted: 05/ 2/2012 2:29 pm

Paula Witherspoon

A Texas-based transgender woman said she was humiliated after being ticketed for using the ladies' room at a Dallas hospital.

As MSNBC is reporting, Paula Witherspoon was cited for disorderly conduct on April 25, after a Parkland Hospital official received a complant received a complaint from a female patient about a man in the women's restroom. An officer with the hospital’s police force wrote the citation for a class-C misdemeanor.

Witherspoon, who has been transitioning since 2006 but lives full-time as a woman, called the experience both "humiliating" and "degrading." She went on to note, "I felt like I was being discriminated against...I went to the bathroom, took care of my business, washed my hands and left. I didn't even see anyone."

Witherspoon, who says she was at the hospital with her husband, who had a follow-up appointment after suffering a heart attack, also provided a copy of a letter from her clinical psychologist at the Dallas VA Medical Center, Gloria J. Emmert, according to the Dallas Voice.

"As a frequent visitor to the Dallas VA Hospital, she is expected to use facilities consistent with her external presentation, which is female,” Emmert wrote. “Please assist this Veteran by supporting the application of this ethical approach in all Dallas settings."

The hospital has since issued a statement: "Because of the complexity of the issue, the incident is currently under review. Parkland strives to treat patients, visitors and staff with dignity and respect, as well as provide a safe environment at all times."

But Roberto de la Cruz, an openly gay member of Parkland Hospital's Board of Managers, told the Voice that he plans to meet with Witherspoon this week at her home, citing his concern that transgender people are welcome at Parkland and will be treated with dignity.

Earlier on HuffPost:

FOLLOW GAY VOICES

Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |