An Edmonton cab company is investigating after man says he was kicked out a cab for being dressed as a woman.
Binki, a local drag queen who only wants to be identified by his stage name, told the Edmonton Journal a Yellow Cab driver tossed him from a taxi Sunday night after he identified himself by his legal name while dressed as a drag queen.
Binki says he called a cab to Evolution Wonderlounge after he finished a performance. He gave the driver his name and waited on the sidewalk, as requested.
But as he was getting in, the taxi driver refused him a ride.
“I was half in, half out of the cab, you know, looking fabulous – and he was just – 'get out,'” Binki told CBC News.
“I got out of the cab and then I went back to my friends and … I said, ‘I just got kicked out of the cab.' And they said, ‘Why?’ And I said, ‘because I'm in drag.’”
Phil Strong, president of the Edmonton Taxi Service Group, told the Journal is organization doesn't tolerate that sort of treatment and that all drivers have undergone sensitivity training.
The owner of Evoluntion Wonderlounge said similar incidents have happened before.
“Am I surprised? No. And that's sad, too, because this is not the first time I've heard a story like this, and sadly I don't think it will be the last," Rob Browatzke told CBC.
Some Edmontonians discussing the story, however, argue that perhaps the refusal of service was a mix-up, instead of discrimination.
"The driver, who was just doing his job, asked who he was. When the name didn't match the description he obviously made a mistake because he was trying to get the right customer. How would the driver known this person was a cross dresser?" asked Dennis Roberts on Facebook.
"If he was dressed as a woman and gave a male name, then the driver could have thought he was trying to steal someone's cab. If he used his drag name and was still in drag, then there definitely a case of discrimination," agreed Jacqueline McKay McKerell.
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