A Delaware transgender woman says she was harassed and told to leave a Gloucester County McDonald’s after she used the women's restroom.
Misty Hill, 42, of Wilmington, Delaware, told NBC10 she was using the women’s restroom at a McDonald’s in Paulsboro, New Jersey Wednesday around 4:30 p.m. Hill, who says she transitioned and has been living as a woman for a little over a year, told NBC10 she was wearing cargo pants and didn’t have any makeup on when she used the restroom.
“Usually I wear a skirt and makeup,” Hill said. “When you’re trans you have to decide, ‘Do I spend 20 minutes doing my makeup or do I possibly face harassment?'”
As Hill used the bathroom, she says she was followed by the restaurant’s manager.
“The female manager followed me in and when I was in the stall she asked if a gentleman was in,” Hill said.
Hill says she told her she was a woman. She then claims the manager came back inside about a minute later and asked her once again if she was a man.
“She said, ‘you don’t belong here,’” Hill said.
Hill told NBC10 she then left the bathroom and once again told the manager she was a woman and even tried to show her driver’s license to prove it.
“I attempted to show her my driver’s license and she refused to look at it,” Hill said. “She crossed her arms, refused to take it.”
In earlier conversations she claimed the manager threatened to call police but in a later conversation with NBC10 she said that she was only asked to leave the eatery.
Hill says she then shared her story on her Twitter page while still inside the restaurant. She also reached out to McDonald’s via Twitter and called the company’s corporate headquarters before leaving. So far she says she hasn’t received any official response.
“I received no apology,” Hill said.
NBC10 reached out to the manager of the Paulsboro McDonald's. The manager told us she never harassed Hill, never told her to leave and never threatened to call police. Instead, she says she was trying to address the concerns of another customer.
“There was a little girl going to the bathroom,” the manager said. “She [Hill] started talking to a little girl. The girl got scared and told her mom and her mom told me.”
The manager says she then spoke with Hill after she came out of the bathroom.
“I would never disrespect or discriminate against anyone,” the manager said. “I never actually said she couldn’t use the bathroom. I just told her she was making the customers uncomfortable. I just wanted to make sure everything was fine as far as her not being a full-grown man.”
The manager also claimed she didn’t refuse to look at Hill’s driver’s license and that Hill showed it to her without her even asking.
“I was just addressing the concern of a customer,” the manager said. “Whatever your personal preference is, I don’t care but some people do. We don’t want to lose customers so we have to try to appease everyone.”
Hill later responded to the manager’s comments and said she never spoke with a young girl as the manager claimed and that she never saw a little girl in the restroom.
"There was no little girl in the restroom, there was nobody else in that restroom when the manager came in and harassed me repeatedly," said Hill.
"Never did I have any sort of interaction with any child."
“I took absolutely no action that would make anyone uncomfortable,” Hill said.
Hill told NBC10 she plans on taking legal action and hopes to have access to surveillance video, which she says will prove she was harassed and discriminated against.
New Jersey currently does not have any legislation on the legal rights of transgender people to access public bathrooms, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
However, the state's anti-discrimination law does prohibit restaurants, hotels and other businesses who serve the general public from withholding accommodations to a person based on their gender identity.
NBC10 reached out to the McDonald’s corporate office for comment. We have not yet heard back from them.