A man was taken to court for “misgendering” a transgender Afghanistan veteran by saying “all right geezer”.
Veron Mussington was charged with harassing Joanne Gullon, who served in Afghanistan with the RAF Reserve as a man but now identifies as a woman.
Gullon claims to have been “deliberately misgendered” on three occasions by the entrepreneur who said “all right geezer” when they passed in the street.
Mr Mussington was found guilty by magistrates last year, but his conviction has now been quashed on appeal.
Bedfordshire News reports the entrepreneur, who is a committed Christian, accepts he said “all right geezer”, but said he had no idea Gullon was a transgender woman.
Gullon told the court that being addressed in such a way “denies your humanity” and that it was “very upsetting”.
Mr Mussington was first alleged to have made the remark in October of November 2015 while passing Gullon in the street in Beford. Gullon alerted PC Abi Chapman, but PC Chapman told the court she did not recall seeing Mr Mussington at the incident.
He is then alleged to have made the same remark two weeks later, however Gullon described the offender as 35 to 40 with short hair and a mark on his cheek, while Mr Mussington is older, bald and has no mark.
Gullon told police: “As a trans person, transition is so hard anyway and at the end of the day all I want to be is accepted for who I am. I served my country in Afghanistan and I can’t even walk down my own street without being afraid. I have been threatened and called a freak by complete strangers.”
At the appeal, Recorder Stephen Lennard ruled in favour of Mr Mussington because the prosecution failed to provide sufficient evidence of identification of him in the first two incidents.
After his acquittal, Mr Mussington said: “I can’t believe anyone could end up in court for saying ‘all right geezer’. It’s absurd.
“Everyone has the right to greet people. I didn’t expect my life to be sabotaged because of it. I didn’t know the person was transgender. I’d never met her before what she claimed was the third incident.
“I was just saying hello. I try to get on with everyone and say hello, whoever they are. I’ve been under constant stress for nearly a year because of this.”
Accusations of “misgendering” are becoming an increasingly common trend.
Breitbart London reported this week on the case of a transgender teenager suing a school for failing to recognise their chosen gender, claiming it was “just a phase”.
The school refused to let the student, who was born a girl, wear a boy’s uniform, prompting the teenager’s mother to remove her child from the school.