Transgender female activist Eden Torres claimed the "entire staff" at a Sonic Drive-In used the word "sir" during Torres' order — and the activist also complained of being "faced with discrimination" while at the fast-food restaurant, which apparently is in Houston.
Torres posted a pairof videos Saturday on Twitter that captured the activist's interaction with what apparently is a management-level employee — and Torres let him have it.
The transgender woman told the manager that "your entire staff has been calling me sir" and asked him, "tell me, what we can do now?"
As the pair argued — Torres behind the wheel of a car, and the manager standing outside — Torres asked the man, "What about me looks like a 'sir' right now?"
Eden Torres at the Sonic Drive-In (Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @edentorres121)
The manager apologized, and Torres explained that Sonic staffers "saw the [masculine] name on my credit card" — which presumably led to them figuring Torres gender is male and them subsequently using the word "sir" during the ordering process.
"They were not being nice people," Torres told the manager, who soon was calling the activist "ma'am."
Torres then told the manager to "tell me what your location has done to be trans-competent because clearly they are not."
The manager didn't appear to understand that Torres was talking about gender identity as opposed to sexuality, as he seemed to tell Torres that there are "gay" workers at his restaurant — and that angered the activist.
"I'm not gay," Torres replied. "We're talking about my gender identity, not my sexuality."
Soon the activist asked the manager, "I would like you to promise me that you will stop treating trans people this way."
Finally, the manager asked Torres, "What are you?" in reference to gender identity, and Torres replied, "Why does it matter?" — and soon after, "What would you assume looking at me?"
The manager replied, "I assume that you are a man." That's when the Torres ended the conversation and the recording.
Here are the videos:
What did Sonic Drive-In have to say?
"Eden, we have a strict anti-discrimination policy and take this very seriously," the fast-food company replied to Torres on Twitter. "We launched an immediate investigation into the incident, and we have reached out to you via TikTok to gather more information needed to complete the investigation. Please feel free to DM us here."
It isn't clear if Torres responded directly to Sonic, but in a tweet Torres posted Tuesday, the activist said the manager should be trained instead of fired.
"The manager of this Sonic told me it's OK that I'm gay. I'm not gay. I'm trans. There is a difference between sexuality & gender identity," Torres wrote. "Clearly the manager doesn't know this. That's OK, but he can learn. Clearly I'm not the only one who had issues. Don't fire him, train him."
How did folks react to the trans female activist?
A number of observers were less than sympathetic to Torres:
- "So the guy asks your pronouns (I thought you all wanted this); you then ask him to assume what he thinks you are (I thought you weren't supposed to do that?); and then you get pissed at the answer," one commenter said. "Literally, there was no way the guy could have won."
- "What you want (besides attention) is to have everyone accept your make believe world where you pretend to be something you're not while the masses cheer you on for your bravery," another user declared. "Seek help. Accept reality. You'll be happier."
- "It's nobody's job to affirm you," another commenter replied.
- "I love how you turn the camera around thinking it will show that he's crazy for thinking you're a man but…it doesn't," another user wrote.
- "The employee asked you what you wanted to be called. Instead of answering, you told him to assume. When he did what you asked, you got upset. You had a chance to be called what you wanted but chose not to. This guy isn't paid enough to put up with you," another commenter explained.
Torres on Tuesday posted the following tweets as the Sonic Drive-In incident appeared to be going viral: