A transgender woman says she was “humiliated beyond belief” when security in Durham, North Carolina, escorted her out of a public women’s restroom, but the city says the incident never happened.
Alexis Adams said “bystanders were stunned” after she was forced out of the facility at the Transit Center on Thursday, but surveillance footage released by the city shows the transgender woman walking out of the restroom and building without incident.
“I couldn’t think. I couldn’t speak. I was speechless,” Ms. Adams told local television station WTVD. “It was embarrassing. I was outed in front of everybody.”
Ms. Adams said she wanted to go into the restroom and take a picture of herself in front of the mirror in order to protest North Carolina law HB2, which regulates public facilities on the basis of biological sex, rather than gender identity.
The video footage shows Ms. Adams entering the restroom at 1:17 p.m., followed approximately four minutes later by a female custodian. Ms. Adams goes on to walk out of the bathroom alone at 1:22 p.m. She exits the building by herself and can later be seen walking away with an unidentified man.
When she was shown the surveillance footage by WTVD, Ms. Adams paused and then said: “I can’t – I guess you just had to be there to witness it. I mean, the security did escort – ask me to leave the premises. They might not have dragged me out of the bathroom, but they were there.”
The city of Durham, which owns the Transit Center, said it spoke to employees and found no evidence that the incident took place.
“We thoroughly investigated the claim by speaking with bus operations and police department staff, since she claimed that police escorted her from the premises,” said Beverly B. Thompson, director of public affairs for the city of Durham, in a statement. “We also reviewed the security video, which clearly showed the person entering and exiting the restroom and walking away from the station with another person.
“We can’t find anything, including the interviews and the video, to support the person’s claim that such an incident occurred.”