A TRANSGENDER woman is demanding an apology and compensation after claiming she was called “sir” by Southern Rail staff.

Katie Yeomans, who had a sex change operation in 2017, says she wants a sincere apology, training for its staff, and up to £2,500 in damages.

She claims staff addressed her using the wrong pronoun on two separate occasions while travelling.

Southern Rail has said it has looked into the incident “thoroughly” and disputes the claims.


The 66-year-old, who says she needed pills to sleep after the alleged incidents, said: “It is diabolical.

“I care because I spent five years transitioning and I have all of my legal documentation.

“So whether people like it or not I am a woman and I expect to be treated as a woman.

“I don’t expect to treated as a man.”

Miss Yeomans began transitioning after realising she was transgender when she was at a fancy dress party in 2014, aged 61.

She is upset that despite having gender reassignment surgery and holding a female birth certificate, she says she was called “sir” twice by Southern Rail staff.

On one occasion, she alleges that when trying to speak to a staff member she was told to “take a seat, sir”.

On another occasion, about two weeks later, she claims that when asking a staff member what platform the Brighton train was on, she was told “platform number one, sir.”

Miss Yeomans said: “I find it insulting how people will call me sir and find that acceptable.

“As you can see from photos, I always present myself as very female.

“This is not the first time I have suffered this type of discrimination.

“Most companies have apologised and promised to improve things to ensure it never happens again.”

Miss Yeomans started taking women’s hormones in May 2015 which helped her to grow breasts and slow hair growth.

In 2016, she was given a female birth certificate and had her sex change operation the following year.

She said she believes it is her duty to stand up for other trans women.

She also said she has contacted the rail ombudsman.

She added: “The resolution I’m looking for is an apology.

“I also want reassurance that their equality and diversity training is up to scratch.

“In view of stress and anxiety this case has caused me, I am seeking compensation.”

The rail ombudsman can get up to £2,500 in damages.

A Southern Rail spokesman said: “We have looked into this thoroughly and dispute what has been claimed.


“However with investigations ongoing it would be inappropriate to make any further comment on this particular case.

“We promote diversity within the organisation and across the rail industry.

“We have a popular, active LGBTQ+ community at Southern and Govia Thameslink Railway and are vocal champions of employees who identify as such, celebrating them both internally and in the media.”