Eden Vickerman repeatedly corrected the worker however he continued to misgender her, she claims (Image: manchestereveningnews WS)
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A trans woman claims she was the victim of transphobic abuse at a railway station after a worker allegedly misgendered her several times.
Eden Vickerman said the man referred to her as 'sir' and 'he' when she encountered issues with her ticket after arriving at Manchester Piccadilly station.
She claims she corrected the worker before saying 'oh my God, it’s she', allegedly prompting him to say 'man, woman, whatever'.
Then 25-year-old then lost her temper at the Northern Rail revenue officer and shouted 'oh, get a f****** grip, mate’, the Manchester Evening News reports.
The incident unfolded after Eden bought a ticket from Chorley to Manchester Victoria to attend a dental appointment last Friday (June 11).
When the service was running late, she boarded another train heading to Manchester Piccadilly.
The 25-year-old lost her temper and shouted 'oh, get a f****** grip, mate' after he misgendered her several times
(Image: manchestereveningnews WS)
Despite her Split Save ticket being checked twice on the train without any issues, she says she was faced problems when arriving at the station after it was scanned by an officer.
“There was no issue with my ticket until I got to Piccadilly,” Eden tells the M.E.N.
“When I got to the exit and they scanned it, it flagged that I was on the wrong train or something.
“A woman scanned it and then passed me over to two men who were working at the ticket desk.
“One of the workers said I should have got on a certain train, which I didn’t realise, but as I tried to explain, he started misgendering me.
“He said to me: ‘Yes, sir, you have to board that specific train'.
“I was literally standing in front of him with a ponytail, acrylic nails and a bra on – all the signs were there.”
Eden, who lives in Chorley, says she politely tried to correct the worker but claims he continued to misgender her.
The incident unfolded at Manchester Piccadilly station
(Image: Getty Images)
She explains: “I think he was training the other worker because everything I was saying, he was relaying it back and explaining all while calling me ‘he’ and ‘sir’.
“I kept correcting him by saying it’s ‘miss’ or ‘she’ but by the fifth time, it really started to annoy me. I shouted ‘oh my God, it’s she’.
“He just looked me up and down and tutted and looked at his colleagues as if he couldn’t understand the point I was trying to make.
“He said something along the lines of ‘man, woman, whatever! God, what’s the world coming to, eh?’.
“I’m not proud but I just turned around and shouted ‘oh, get a f****** grip, mate’.”
Eden says she initially left the train station before returning to collect the staff member’s details so she could complain directly to Northern Rail.
The company has since apologised to Eden and said they are investigating the incident and will take 'appropriate action once this investigation is complete'.
Since transitioning two years ago, Eden has built up an online following on Instagram where she talks about her transition.
She shared details of the incident with her followers who have since reshared her experience.
Northern Rail has apologised for the incident and launched an investigation
(Image: SIPA USA/PA Images)
“It’s interesting because their [Northern Rail] latest posts on Instagram are all to do with Pride Month,” she says.
“This just happens all too much – all these companies support Pride and express their love for LGBT+ people but then they don’t know how to communicate with trans people.
“I shouldn’t have to say it but it really is just one of those things that we've come to expect."
Eden says she has been left feeling anxious over the incident – especially as she has only in the last few months had facial feminization surgery to be more feminine-presenting.
“People might think it’s not a big deal but it really is,” Eden says.
“It’s not just a case of being misgendered once, it happened repeatedly in a public place where no one thought to intervene.
“It’s just frustrating because when you’re trying so hard to be perceived as the gender that you are and trying to meet expectations of how people view you, it just completely undermines it all.
“I just had facial surgery seven months ago, I've legally changed my name and I'm on hormones every day yet people still decide to ignore what they see in front of them.
“It’s just unfair. It’s really, really unfair.”
In a statement, Northern Rail apologised to Eden and confirmed an investigation was underway.
Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “I’d like to personally apologise to our customer for any distress or upset she experienced as a result of what happened at Manchester Piccadilly.
“We are investigating the incident and will take appropriate action once this investigation is complete.
“Our customers are at the heart of all we do and we’re working hard to create a network and workplace with equality and diversity at its core, where everyone is included and where we properly represent every single one of the different communities we serve.
“We want to create an inclusive trans-friendly culture, free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation, where all transgender people are treated with dignity and respect.”
The rail organisation said it has formed a new steering group to develop Northern’s equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) policies and says it has worked closely with transgender colleagues to create a trans-friendly workplace.
And Eden says she wants people to know about what happened to her so that staff in public-facing roles receive diversity and equality training.
She also wants to stand up for those who may get ignored when they complain about similar incidents.
She says: “I have privilege – I’m white, I have a bit of an audience online and I’ve been able to access surgery – but if this happened to a lesser-fortunate trans person, would they even give it the time and day?
“If it’s affected me and my mental health when I have all this privilege, I can't even imagine what someone else in a worse situation could be made to feel like.
“It’s not just about me, it’s about the bigger picture of it all.”
The rail operator says it has also introducing the option for colleagues to request a name badge featuring their gender pronouns.
The option is voluntary and it is hoped it will help to prevent potential discrimination.