This disturbing video shows violence against a transgender woman at a McDonald's restaurant in Baltimore County, Maryland. Smoking Gun reported that a McDonald's employee posted the video with comments that appear to blame the victim for being transgender and trying to use the restroom. The employee further accused the transgender woman of faking her seizure seen in the video.
McDonald's wrote they are "shocked" at this anti-transgender violence, and yet they have no anti-discrimination policy to protect transgender employees or customers. And this is not the first anti-transgender incident at McDonald's. In 2009, Zikerria Bellamy faced hiring discrimination and received a harassing anti-transgender phone call from a McDonald's manager. Change is overdue. These can not be treated as one-off situations where an employee gets fired and a press release issued. Real changes must be made.
We call upon McDonald's not only to add gender identity/expression to their non-discrimination policies but also to institute practices that show that McDonald's is committed to inclusion and safety for transgender and gender variant people. While policies sometimes have only limited effects, we know that policy and social change are mutually reinforcing, and McDonald's has not shown real commitment on transgender issues through their policies!