Bryan John Ellicott, 24, claims in a lawsuit filed Monday that three Parks Department employees violated his civil rights and discriminated against him when he visited Lyons Pool In Staten Island in July. Ellicott says in the suit that three workers told him he had to leave or use the women's room. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A transgender man who claims he was kicked out of a city pool by Parks Department employees who wouldn’t let him use the men’s changing room has sued the city to try and stop it from happening again, according to the New York Daily News.
Bryan John Ellicott, a city employee who works for the Office of Emergency Management, claimed in a lawsuit filed Monday that three Parks Department employees violated his civil rights and discriminated against him based on his gender when he visited a Staten Island pool last July.
The 24-year-old is currently transitioning from female-to-male, according to a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court. Ellicott takes hormone replacements but hasn’t had sex-reassignment surgery yet, the suit said.
He wore a t-shirt at the pool to cover up the binder he wears to compress his chest, the lawsuit said. But it wasn’t discreet enough to keep Parks Dept. employees from ordering him out, the suit claimed.
“You need to leave ... someone complained about someone being in the locker room who doesn’t belong here,” a Parks Dept. worker identified as Employee No. 1 told Ellicott, according to the suit.
The young man has been openly living as a male since February 2012, according to the suit.
His doctor recognizes him as a male and on his driver’s license, New York State recognizes his sex as male, the lawsuit said. Ellicott lives in Manhattan now but was raised on Staten Island and maintains strong community roots there, according to his complaint.
He returned to his hometown on July 21, 2013 to use the Lyons Pool. He wore jeans and a black t-shirt, and proceeded to the male changing room, the lawsuit said. Ellicott wore male swim trunks under his jeans and a binder meant to compress his chest under his shirt. He removed his jeans and secured his things in a locker before proceeding outside, dressed in his swim trunks and a black t-shirt, his binder still hidden under his clothes, the suit said.
Ellicott soon returned to change into a white t-shirt, and that’s when a Parks Dept. employee told him he had to go the women’s room to change or leave the facilities, the lawsuit alleged.
When Ellicott protested and asked to speak to a supervisor, the employee called over another Parks Dept. worker, the suit said. The men were “hostile” to Ellicott, according to court papers.
Both workers said he had to leave or use the women’s room, but Ellicott persisted in asking for a supervisor, the suit said. A third male employee, older than the others, eventually came over but also refused to let Ellicott stay in the men’s room, the suit said.
“At no time did the employees of the Parks Dept. city any law, rule or policy to justify their actions,” the suit said.
“Ellicott’s binder and men’s swim trunks remained on at all times.”
New York Daily News - June 2, 2014 - By Barbara Ross, Ginger Adams Otis