New York, US – A man who identifies as a woman pulled a knife on a female colleague, held it up to her, and threatened to stab her to death after several apparent slips of the tongue caused her to reference his biological sex rather than his gender identity.
The man had requested that his colleagues at the boutique shop use the pronouns “she” and “her” when speaking of him.
One co-worker, a woman, referred to the man as “he” and “him” a few times over the course of several weeks, which led to the two arguing on some occasions while customers were present in the shop.
The final time that the woman referred to her transgender colleague using male pronouns, he exploded in rage. He threatened her with a knife that he had been using to slice soap, pointing the weapon at her as he told her that he would kill her for calling him the wrong pronouns. No customers were in the store at the time of the incident.
On the next work day, the man’s employers called him into the corporate office to discuss his violent outburst. According to the man, the realization that his female colleague clearly did not perceive him as a woman had caused him to feel “unsafe” at work.
He claimed that his female colleague’s failure to validate his gender identity had triggered the pain he felt at being disowned by his family and being forced to resort to the necessary in the streets just to stay alive.
The woman who had been threatened at knife-point told corporate that she had always liked her colleague. She explained that her use of male pronouns was accidental, not malicious, and a result of her lack of education about transgender issues.
The female victim and management took pity on the man. Although he was fired from the job and the victim filed a restraining order against him, charges were not pressed.
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HR Confidential: An employee called a co-worker by the wrong gender pronoun—then received a death threat
The scenario: I was working in corporate HR for a retail company that had a bunch of small boutique stores. One of those stores employed a transgender woman who asked to be referred to as “she” and “her.”