McDonald's employees have been directly responsible for or complicit to numerous discrimination and assault cases involving LGBTQ people. It affects the health and well being of all McDonald's customers when nothing is done to prevent terrible acts of homophobic violence or discrimination. The following cases are not just isolated incidents that can be chalked up to a few psychotic or ignorant individuals. They are connected and demonstrate gross negligence on the part of McDonald's Human Resources Policies.
On April 1st at Chelsea NYC Branch # 3653 a gay woman was refused entrance to the female bathroom by crew member, Ana Choclo who kept insisting the young woman was a man. The whole restaurant was watching. The gay woman was being treated for anxiety and later suffered a nervous breakdown and post-traumatic stress disorder as a direct result of this experience. When the young woman's partner called the district manager, Katie Bailey, and told her what had happened they refused to fire the employee but invited them to come to McDonald's for a free lunch- and if they liked they could offer the employee diversity training.
This incident occurred within a week of the brutal beating of transgender woman, Chrissy Lee Polis, at a Baltimore McDonald’s. After she came out of the bathroom she was beaten repeatedly and dragged across the floor by her hair. She went into a seizure while Vernon Hackett, a McDonald's employee filmed the whole time, intermittently laughing. He was fired by McDonald's.
In 2006 a transgender woman was beaten by a McDonald’s branch manager at the 34th St and 5th avenue, NY branch.
Eventhough the manager knocked out her teeth, injured her groin, and beat her all over her body and head, he was not arrested and McDonald's never disclosed his information or surveillance materials so that the victim could press charges.
We propose that they fix what we consider to be a larger systemic problem by educating their staff not to discriminate against or assault LGBTQ customers. They need to intergrate the following into their Human Resources Policies despite the cost. If they do not pay now, LGBTQ people will always pay later
- -pre-employment screening for homophobia/transphobia
- -diversity training on transphobia, homophobia and bathroom preference for ALL employees- from executives to crew members.
- -thorough diversity training consisting of: media literacy, simulations, McDonald's own history of violence, etc.
- -the implementation of late night branch security, trained in diversity as well
- Chief Operating Officer, McDonald's
- Executive VP & Chief Human Resources Officer, McDonald's
- Director, U.S. Communications, McDonald's
Despite Don Thompson's remarks in relation to the pro gay French add bearing the slogan, "Come As You Are," we believe that it is time for American McDonald's to wake up and make a change. We are asking that you take responsibility for the numerous LGBTQ discrimination and assault cases being perpetrated in your branches, by your own employees, but also customers. Prevention is better than assault.
As a franchise that prides itself on family values, you should be striving to create a peaceable environment for all of your customers and families. Yet, Chrissy Lee Polis was beaten until going into a seizure for using the female restroom. In 2006 Christina, a transgender woman, was forcibly removed from the female bathroom by one of your branch managers. While he knocked out her teeth and continued to brutally beat her with a metal pipe, the whole restaurant chanted, "Kill the faggot." These incidents are clearly set precedents indicating that you must strive to create an environment founded on tolerance and understanding.
You owe it to your customers and your family brand to create an awareness campaign, but most importantly, to proactively educate your branch employees on homophobia and transphobia, especially with regards to bathroom rights. Despite the controversy of publicly embracing a double-pronged 'pro-gay agenda', the alternative would be not to- and in doing so you are condoning the homophobia and transphobia organically spilling into your doors. But we have faith that you hold the solution to this problem; education.
We are all human, and we deserve to eat and use public restrooms without being molested.
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