A veteran of the United States military, Cassandra had been a shopper at Sabor Tropical Supermarket for years with no issue – until one day, when a manager asked her to leave the store. Cassandra is a transgender woman, meaning she was born male but long understood herself to be female, and so she transitioned and now lives every day as the woman she has always known herself to be. Unnerved by being turned away at the grocery store, but assuming it was a random occurrence, she left; over the next few weeks, she returned and shopped without incident. However, on one of these trips the same manager saw her and again asked her to leave. When she went to check out, the cashier told her that per the manager, she was not allowed to sell Cassandra her items. Eventually the police were called, and upon arrival, they told the manager he could not refuse to serve Cassandra, as the city has a transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance in place.
“This is a daily thing for transgender people,” Cassandra said. “We need to speak out. As a community, we have made great strides, but we need to keep doing the work of winning hearts and minds. This is a teaching moment, and I’m grateful to have made it one.”