Mary meets with Farmers

Transgender Personality Mary Haddock-Staniland, who was humiliated in Farmers Botany Downs late last month, has met with the New Zealand Retailer and assisted in their investigations. Mary is confident that they are taking this matter seriously.

“In the initial days after this became public I was upset and angry, but after talking with Farmers I’m feeling better about the situation,” she says. She confirms she has lodged a complaint with the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and expects to hear the outcome of their investigation in the next month.

Farmers took the opportunity to remind their staff of their obligations to treat all customers with respect, reiterate their fitting room policy and are currently reviewing their signage to ensure that this reflects their position. They say that the latter will take some time to complete.

The support Mary has received has been overwhelming,including from friend and employer of a large retail team, Kiwi Fashion Designer Annah Stretton.

“Becoming informed re trans people means that retailers will operate with understanding, rather than bigoted misunderstanding that leads to this type of behaviour,” says Stretton.

“It takes courage for a transgender person to shop in these spaces, but they have the same requirements as any other shopper, so I would suggest that we all get on and do the job we are paid to do and provide customers with service.”

Mary has also been approached by a number of corporate organisations interested in having her talk about the Diversity and Equal Opportunities framework.

Miranda Likeman