AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A woman is claiming the local Salvation Army discriminated against her because she is transgender.
Jennifer Ney, who identifies as a transgender woman, is traveling through Amarillo on her way to Oklahoma. After a stop at Northwest Hospital to repair a broken cast, Ney spent Wednesday night at the Salvation Army and claims she was not allowed to sleep in the female dorms.
"I was initially going to be allowed on the women's side because I'm a transgender woman," said Ney. "They asked me what my original name was. They decided they were going to switch me over to the men's side of the shelter."
Ney alleged she was placed in the male dorms, where she was harassed by the other clients because of her looks.
She currently has facial hair because she has not been able to obtain her hormone medication.
The Salvation Army said she never identified herself as a woman.
"We go by what that person says," said Major Harvey Johnson, Executive Director of the Salvation Army. "If they say they're female, even though they may not appear to be female, we go with what they say. She disclosed herself as a male and didn't have ID that said anything different."
Because it was cold Wednesday night, Johnson said almost no one was asked to show an ID because they were so busy getting people into the shelter.
Ney said she presented her military ID, which does not list the sex of the cardholder.
She claimed she was interrogated by six staff members about her former identity.
"There weren't even six staff people on last night," said Johnson. "No one brought them into a room and interrogated them. We don't do that to people. There's no reason to do that to anybody."
Johnson said the Salvation Army does not discriminate against any people.
"All people we see are created with equal value," said Johnson. "I feel confident that under the circumstances we probably did the best that we could. We offered the person a private room and they chose to stay out in the lobby."
Ney has stayed at Salvation Armies across the country, and said she has never felt as bad as she did staying here in Amarillo.
"I really hope Amarillo doesn't condone this kind of asinine operation," said Ney. "The Salvation Army is supposed to be for the people."