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Austin Lingerie Store Promises Changes In Transgender Controversy

Updated: Friday, July 4 2014, 11:51 AM CDT

A transgender controversy that started with a bra fitting, has an Austin lingerie store working on changes to its store policy. A trans woman says she was humiliated at Petticoat Fair last weekend. On Thursday the owner invited consumer reporter Bettie Cross into his store so he could explain what happened and where they go from here. 

Petticoat Fair says it caters to all women and is now trying to make sure that holds true. 

"It's a challenge," said Kirk Andrews, owner of Petticoat Fair. "We're trying to educate ourselves." 

Andrews is at the center of the transgender controversy that started last Saturday when Kylie Jack asked for a bra fitting. 

"I get it. I don't look exactly like every other woman out there," said Kylie. "The employee asked me if l was an anatomical female."

Kylie says she was told she could buy lingerie, but she could not get the fitting service.

"When I asked why not, she said I would have to be fully transitioned. What she meant by that is that I'd have to have actual sexual reassignment surgery," said Kylie. 

It's a policy the store owner says he regrets. 

"In hindsight it was a pretty dumb decision on my part to have that, to have that policy," said Andrews.

Typically, customers sign in for a fitting. Then they're brought bras and other garments from the stock room. 

"We shop for the customer basically," said Krissi Riewe, Petticoat Fair store manager and buyer. "The fitter stays with the customer the entire time. 

That intimate service may have contributed to the problem. 

"They're concerned about trans women being in their fitting rooms," said Kylie. 

Kylie's description of what she calls a "humiliating" experience went viral on Facebook. 

"Trans women are women and we deserve to be in women's spaces," said Kylie. 

Petticoat Fair agrees it needs to update store policies and on Thursday is meeting with leaders of the transgender community. 

"Maybe if people can see that educating yourself, talking about it, and coming together and trying to find a common solution to something is better than screaming at each other," said Andrews. 

Ultimately, the owner says he just wants Kylie to feel comfortable enough to shop here again. 

"I admire the way she stood up for what she believes," said Andrews. 

Petticoat Fair says it will likely be another week before it will have new transgender policies in place.

By Bettie Cross

Austin Lingerie Store Promises Changes In Transgender Controversy

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