COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. — A transgender woman says she was insulted and told to leave Southpark Mall in Colonial Heights because of how she looked.
Tyler Vaughan said all she wanted was to be with her friends while shopping for a necklace on Aug. 15. But she said that before she ever got the chance, she was the victim of slurs and derogatory comments.
“I believe it was discrimination. He refused me to go to where he was selling stuff because I’m transgender,” Vaughan told CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil outside her Colonial Heights home.
Vaughan said it all started when she approached a kiosk inside the mall. That’s where she said she was met with a slur and derogatory remarks.
As the group walked away from the kiosk, the commotion prompted a security guard to approach the kiosk and the shoppers. What happened next was caught on cellphone video.
Vaughan was asked to leave the mall even after she tried to explain that she was the victim of slurs and derogatory remarks.
“He called me a ****** and told me to ****** and I have to leave the mall? Is that the case,” Vaughan asks.
“Yes ma’am,” the security guard replies.
The 19-year-old, who believes the verbal assault was prompted because she is transgender, said she did nothing to provoke the sales associate.
“It’s not OK to be treated different because I’m transgender rather that a regular female or male,” Vaughan said. “I’m male to female.”
Vaughan said she contacted CBS 6 News because she wants people to know that what happened to her is not OK.
CBS 6 News called Southpark Mall about the situation and provided them with a copy of the video. As of 7:30 p.m. on Friday, the station had not received a response.