The owner of a women's clothing store in southwest Calgary has issued an apology to a transgender woman who was refused service at the shop in December.
Colton Stankowski, who identifies as female, says she left NV Fashions in the community of Lakeview after she was not permitted to try on clothes as the owner allegedly said it would make other customers uncomfortable.
Stankowski took to social media to share her disappointment and frustration following the incident.
CTV News requested comment from the store in late December but the owner declined, stating that she needed to speak with her lawyer.
On Monday, the owner issued a statement to CTV News indicating that she had issued an apology to Stankowski and that the store would be "moving ahead with sensitivity training."
The following is the letter in its entirety as it was submitted to CTV News:
I hope you are doing well. I wanted to send this note so we can both start the new year on a positive note. I had hoped to send it earlier but was struggling to find the words. You came into my store earlier this year and had a terribly negative experience. I am deeply sorry for how I handled the situation and how I made you feel. I opened my store to make people feel good about themselves and enjoy fashion and clothing. After 12 years in business, we have failed one of our customers and a member of our
community, on that front.
I do not support or believe in discrimination of any kind. While I have many customers, friends and family who are of diverse backgrounds and sexual orientations, it's clear to me that I have a lot to learn about the transgender community. I have taken steps to make sure my store and my employees create an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone.
I am very sorry for my comments and conduct. I hope you will accept this apology and that it will help heal some of the hurt and pain I caused you that day. I also wish to apologise to the wider LGBT community and all my faithful customers who have supported our independent business for so many years.
Finally, I would like to personally welcome and host you at my store as soon as we are able to open again.
The pandemic has been very hard on all of us. Now more than ever we need to support each other and take care of each other. I wish you all the best in