A Manhattan woman is suing a West Village restaurant for allegedly having her tossed out of the ladies' room for looking too manly.
In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Khadijah Farmer says she's seeking an undisclosed amount for "embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress" when she was bounced out of the Caliente Cab Company ladies' room this past June.
"I felt extreme embarrassment. I'm not the most feminine woman, but I shouldn't have to be," said Farmer, 28. "What happened to me at Caliente Cab Company shouldn't happen anywhere."
The Austin Powers-like moment happened in June, when Farmer went to the Seventh Avenue South restaurant with her girlfriend and another friend after attending the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride March in the neighborhood.
Farmer said they'd ordered their meals and had finished eating their appetizers when she excused herself to go to the downstairs bathroom. She passed by a woman who gave her a nasty look as she walked into the empty bathroom and into one of the stalls.
Moments later, "a male bouncer burst into the bathroom and began to pound on the door of the stall Ms. Farmer was using," the suit says.
"The bouncer yelled through the stall doors that he had been told there was a man in the women's restroom, and demanded that Ms. Farmer leave the restroom and the restaurant immediately," even though "the only man in the women's restroom was the bouncer himself."
Farmer told the bouncer through the stall door that she was a woman, and even tried to show him her ID.
"He refused to look at it," she said, and then followed her upstairs to the restaurant and ordered her and her friends to leave.
Farmer said she was flabbergasted by the experience. She said she's been mistaken for a man many times before, but when she tells people she's a woman, they usually offer a quick apology.
"I never had this kind of experience before," she said.
Farmer said she was wearing a polo shirt and pants at the time, and her lawyer, Michael Silverman, said the restaurant should have been more open-minded. "Would she have had the same problem if she were wearing white pearls and gloves?" he asked.
In a statement, the restaurant says it "thoroughly investigated" Farmer's allegations, and "there has been no discrimination or violation of anyone's civil rights or human dignity by Caliente Cab Company or anyone employed here."