Monday, May 9, 2016

Incident at Rite Aid

I went to my local Rite Aid to pick up a prescription (depression meds), like I have for years. Like... 12 of them.

My prescription wasn't ready, so I had to wait. That's fine. No problem.

Then, one of the pharmacy people (a heavy blonde woman) shouts my dead name across the store to come to her register. I didn't react immediately, as I don't respond to that name anymore. After she shouted it again (in front of maybe 6 customers) I went to her register. My auto-fill wasn't working for whatever reason, but the prescription would be filled ASAP. I quietly told her that my name is Sophie, then stood aside to wait.

Taken minutes after the Incident

One of the other pharmacy workers saw me waiting, and asked the blonde woman if I had been helped. She then shouted across the store "HE has been helped. HIS prescription is being worked on. We'll have HIS order ready soon."

A few minutes later, she said to that tech, loudly, "HIS prescription is ready." That man then called my dead name. I went to the counter, in front of what seemed like a store full of people (but probably was about 10) and said to the man "My name is Sophie." He said sorry, and rang me out. I then asked who the manager on duty was, and he pointed at the blonde woman, identifying her by name. I thanked him, and left.

I then went back to the apartment and immediately called Rite Aid customer service. The woman listened to what I had to say, asked a couple of questions, and asked me if I wanted the district manager to call. I said yes, and provided my contact information.

Friends, I am convinced that the blonde woman misgendered me intentionally and maliciously.

I'm not the only TG in this area.  Does Rite Aid treat us ALL like this?

 An hour later,  the district manager called.  He said he read my complaint (I also emailed their corporate).  The usual corporate platitudes.  "I'm so sorry."  I told him I'm filing a HIPAA complaint as well.

They have no LGBT training at Rite Aid. He didn't say as much ("oh, we have several computer based trainings...") but I asked him directly if he had the training, and his silence spoke volumes.  I pointed out that the bookstore has specific training about Transgender issues that are mandatory for all supervisors.  In any case. he said he "will partner with HR and address the situation."  But I'm not letting this go.

 I asked the district manager what would he do if that woman was prejudiced against an African-American or an Asian, what would he do then? And I also pointed out that if I did what she did at my job, I would have been fired on the spot. I also asked him if this is the way trans people are treated in Pennsylvania, how are they being treated in North Carolina or Mississippi?

One of the leaders of a local LGBT group contacted me, volunteering help.  I asked her to call Rite Aid.  Let them know I'm not alone in this.

This situation is still developing.  I’m not letting this go.  Our brothers and sisters are out doing far better work out there than I have ever done.  It’s time for me to do my part, even if it may not make a difference.


  1. I used to work as a cashier at a pennsylvania rite aid. They're a garbage corporation. They care none for customers or employees. Only their own pocket books. I'm so sorry that you had this experience.

  2. Please keep your friends and allies posted on this. And know we are behind you!

  3. Sophie - Don't let up. You have a HIPAA violation here, and it is a violation of Federal law. You can cause BIG trouble for Rite Aid and their future parent company - Walgreens. (Complain to Walgreens' CEO as well.... Do they want to buy a corporation with HIPAA lawsuits giving the larger firm a bad name?)

  4. Sophie,

    Sorry you had to endure treatment like this. Stay strong and pursue the HIPAA complaint. When you thrive, it pisses people like that blonde off more than anything else you could do.

    Just remember, there are far more clowns out there than Ringling Brothers could ever possibly hire.

  5. Sorry you had to go through this. That cold, callous woman deserves to be thrown out of Rite Aid on her ear. I could easily call that pharmacist much worse things, but I'm disciplining myself. I hope everything works out for you, Sophie. <3

  6. Stay strong, sister. The Rite-Aid I go to in NJ has been very good and I've never had an issue before and after I changed my HRT prescriptions via the Legal Name Change. I usually go through the drive-thru, but I did go inside to change my name, etc. and had to show the License, Court Order, etc. I do believe though that my experience is due to the Lead Pharmacist being younger, "with it" and her being respectful and knowledgeable. The other staff there have been good also, except it was an awkward period after I went full-time and I didn't look as female as I do now. I got that "why are you taking estrogen look" from an older female employee.

    However, AT NO POINT, was I ever get treated as you were and they didn't violate HIPPA or CFR-42 (which is even more stringent than HIPPA).

    This really sucks. Sorry it happened to you, but unfortunately we really are educating one person, one business, one institution at a time.

    God Bless,


  7. There is no excuse for that- ever. I would have called the woman out publicly for what she was doing. I would have asked her if she was intentionally being a hateful, ignorant, bigot, or if she was just that stupid. So sorry you were treated that way.

  8. Stand up for your rights! So sorry to hear this happened.

    Sharon Rose

  9. Good for you Sofie!!!! I am so sick of all of this hullabaloo over transgender. I think it's beautiful and always have. So please, please, please keep roaring loud and clear! It is NOT falling on deaf ears!!!!

  10. Sophie, It could be that Rite-Aid employees no longer care about anything. They will probably be unemployed once Walgreen's takes over.