‘This is all a pack of vile lies’: Woman embroiled in trans row denies calling Starbucks manager a ‘tranny’ or ‘man’
- Vanessa Thomas said Luna Spain’s hate crime allegation are a ‘pack of vile lies’
- She denied calling Ms Spain a ‘tranny’ or a ‘man’ during their row at Starbucks
A woman filmed in a heated row with a trans Starbucks manager has denied that during the spat she called her a ‘tranny’ or a ‘man’.
Vanessa Thomas was caught on camera being screamed at by Luna Spain, 28, who claps in her face calling her a ‘Karen’, and then throws her out of a Starbucks in Southampton after they became embroiled in a trans row.
A war of words ensued after Ms Spain broke her silence, claiming that she is the victim of a hate crime after Ms Thomas, 55, abused her because she is trans.
But Ms Thomas hit back, telling MailOnline: ‘This is all a pack of vile lies. I didn’t abuse anyone. I never called her a tranny or a man and if I had, I would have deserved to have been thrown out of the Starbucks.
‘I did nothing to start this row and it’s disgusting what Ms Spain is saying about me. She was the only one name calling, she was the only one being abusive and I’m sickened that she would say such things. It’s utter nonsense.’
Vanessa Thomas (left) was caught on camera being screamed at by Luna Spain, 28, (right) who claps in her face calling her a ‘Karen’, and then throws her out of a Starbucks in Southampton after they became embroiled in a trans row
Vanessa Thomas (pictured) told MailOnline: ‘This is all a pack of vile lies. I didn’t abuse anyone. I never called her a tranny or a man and if I had, I would have deserved to have been thrown out of the Starbucks’
Luna Spain (pictured) has claimed that she is the victim of a hate crime after Ms Thomas, 55, abused her because she is trans
She added: ‘I’m not the sort of person who would be abusive towards trans people or anybody else for that matter because that’s just not me. I’m fed up with being made out to be a liar.’
In an interview with Vice News, Ms Spain alleged Ms Thomas was ‘rude and abusive’ when she was told she couldn’t pay using cash. She insisted that video of the incident did not tell the whole story as it did not capture the abuse she faced.
Ms Spain said Ms Thomas started ‘losing her mind’ after she deliberately misgendered a colleague standing next to her and that she corrected her ‘pronouns’.
Ms Thomas repeated her earlier claim that the row stemmed from her using the word ‘lady’ to describe a member of staff serving her without realising that they did not identify as a woman.
She said: ‘It’s as I’ve already said because that’s the truth. The trans manager interrupted me and all I said was: “I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to the lady behind the counter.”
‘That’s when it all kicked off. How was I supposed to know that that person didn’t identify as a female? It was an innocent mistake, and I was not abusive at all. I am the one who was the victim of a crime.’
The incident took place on April 30 after Ms Thomas, who lives on the Isle of Wight, had been on a shopping trip to Southampton.
As the row escalated, Ms Thomas claimed that her belongings were thrown up in the air by Ms Spain, who then physically threw her out of the Starbucks, closing the glass front door with such ferocity that it smashed.
Ms Thomas claimed that her belongings were thrown up in the air by Ms Spain, who then physically threw her out of the Starbucks, closing the glass front door with such ferocity that it smashed
Ms Thomas, pictured with partner Mark Andrews, previously said she feared for her life after being thrown out of the cafe for using the word ‘lady’ to describe a member of staff without realising that they did not identify as a woman
The incident was filmed by Ms Thomas’ partner Mark Andrews. In the footage, Ms Spain can be seen lunging at him as she attempts to seize his mobile phone.
Ms Thomas insisted: ‘I am the one who was the victim of a crime because I was verbally and physically abused. And so was my partner, Mark. We both had a terrible experience that left us very shocked.
‘I’m confident that the full truth will come out once the police have investigated this matter properly.’
Ms Thomas said that she has already contacted Hampshire Police to ask if they had recovered CCTV from the Starbucks, which would prove her innocence.
She added: ‘It’s all there on the CCTV, it will show that I wasn’t abusive at all. There was only one person who behaved appallingly and that was Ms Spain. But it’s quite frustrating because the police seem to be moving very slowly in this matter.’
Ms Spain insisted that Ms Thomas’s use of the word ‘lady’ was ‘deliberate and spiteful.’
She said: ‘She (Ms Thomas) said, “what is it with you trannies and all this gender stuff” and “with you trannies it’s always all about gender” – I cut her off and told her she’s not getting served. I asked her to come to the till and get a refund.
‘But instead, she started getting louder and louder. She was calling me “a man” as much as she could and calling my colleague who is a trans man “a woman” in front of a full store of customers and colleagues.’
Explaining her actions in confronting Mr Andrews, Ms Spain said she only wanted the video to be deleted because she did not want to be shamed online like other trans people have been in the past.
Since the incident, Ms Spain has lost her job at the Starbucks with the company claiming that they did not ‘tolerate such behaviour’
Following the incident, Ms Spain revealed she was dismissed from her job without a formal disciplinary process taking place and that she did not even have a chance to explain to her bosses what took place.
She cried: ‘I’m angry, I’m upset, and I’m experiencing the worst mental health of my life, all while the customer laughs about it on Facebook. What do they want me to do? De-transition?’
Ms Spain continued: ‘I definitely expected disciplinary action, that’s what they said would happen, but I didn’t expect to lose my job. It’s like they were trying to do damage control.
‘HR suddenly called me and pushed me to hand in my notice, and when I didn’t, I received an email terminating my employment one hour later. There was no investigation, no meeting, just a cold email.’
Ms Spain claimed she had reported Ms Thomas to police and also demanded a letter of apology from her former employers for not investigating the matter.
A spokesperson for Starbucks said: ‘We pride ourselves on offering a welcoming and inclusive environment, and expect everyone, including our green apron partners (employees) and customers, to treat one another with dignity and respect.
‘Following an investigation, it was determined by the licensee that this partner be separated from the company.’
Hampshire Police has been contacted for comment.
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