Metro Weekly

Transgender woman arrested in squabble over restroom use at a North Carolina Denny’s

Customer called police after seeing transgender woman using the women's restroom, even though she broke no law

Denny’s – Photo: Facebook.

A transgender woman was arrested in a conflict stemming from her use of the women’s restroom at a Denny’s restaurant in Shelby, N.C.

A man called police after seeing the transgender woman, who he believed to be a man, using the same bathroom that his wife was using.

Police arrived on scene, and determined that the 22-year-old woman had not broken any laws.

However, the conflict between the man, his family, and the trans woman escalated, with her spitting at them during a verbal argument. 

Police then arrested her and charged her with disorderly conduct, reports the Associated Press.

For its part, Denny’s told the AP that their company policy is that customers may use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity, adding that the company “does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”

North Carolina became infamous after its legislature and then-Gov. Pat McCrory passed a law, HB 2, prohibiting transgender people from using bathrooms other than those designated for their biological sex after the city of Charlotte passed a trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance covering public accommodations.

The law was eventually repealed, but courts have found that it does not explicitly allow or bar transgender individuals from using restrooms matching their gender identity. Rather, it just returns things to the status quo that existed prior to the passage of Charlotte’s ordinance, where there is a patchwork of protections for LGBTQ people more generally, and transgender individuals more specifically regarding their ability to access publicly-shared spaces. 

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at

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