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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Tim Hanlon

Transgender chef hits out at pub boss who told him 'decide if you're Arthur or Martha'

A transgender chef said he was told by his pub landlady boss to decide "if he's Arthur or Martha" and that he "had his knickers in a twist" in an argument over employment.

Scott Princep worked two trial shifts at Looe's Harbour Moon Inn after responding to an advertisement for employees on Facebook.

And after working just two shifts Scott, who lives with his parents in Polperro, Cornwall, exchanged Facebook messages with landlady Karen Ridley - who allegedly called him a ''tranny".

The 22-year-old, who was born male, came out as transgender to family and friends five months ago, and will soon begin his transition.

The landlady reportedly sent an initial polite message confirming what she could offer but indicated that Scott was not "at the level he needed to be."

Scott disputed the alleged claims of the pub landlady that he needs to build up his experience (Scott Princep / SWNS)

Scott disputed her doubts over his capabilities and said he deserved more money while raising concerns about hygiene practices at the pub.

After being informed he would not return, Karen allegedly replied to Scott with a series of messages - saying he had his "knickers in a twist", called him a "tranny" and telling him to decide "if he's Arthur or Martha."

The messages were reported to police, and officers subsequently spoke with Ms Ridley.

Scott has said the incident has knocked his confidence and he is anxious about opening up about his sexuality and telling others about his transition.

He also fears being open about his personal life could hinder his chances of getting another job.

“What she said is definitely transphobic,” he claimed.

“I’m still worried about getting a job now it’s out there that I’m trans. It’s worrying I could be denied a job - this whole thing is quite new for me.

“Some people think ‘oh no people like that aren’t going to be as productive as others’ – it’s ridiculous.

“She’s an employer – she’s got power. If anyone else from my community that isn’t straight goes in there, who know what could happen.”

Scott said he’s always been a chef and been in and out of kitchens since the age of 14. He’s also travelled to a number of countries and cooked in many of them.

He was therefore angry when he was advised to step back and learn the job – or face the prospect of pot washing on a low wage.

In the message exchange, Scott told Ms Ridley that he has "more experience than any of you in there after trawling to 30 different countries learning their cuisines and cooking out there."

He then points accusations at an existing member of staff over alleged poor hygiene practices.

“I was a bit annoyed by that – working as a pot washer on pretty much minimum wage,” Scott said.

In the argument Scott alleges that the landlady said he had to decide if he was an Arthur or Martha (Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

“I know it wasn’t a nice way to put it, but I was pretty riled up. I wasn’t expecting quite that response though.”

Ms Ridley soon replied to Scott with what many would call transphobic remarks.

She allegedly said: "Wow you really did get your knickers in a twist didn't you.

"I love with more experience than me you're still living with your parents on under £15ph, getting lifts off your dad and desperate for friends that you're spilling your guts to strangers.

“You don't own a car, a house, or a decent pair of jeans - don't compare yourself with me. We are on different planets."

Another message is claimed to read: "Oh and let's remember you're the one who said you weren't sure you would be able to work that side as you have terrible self confidence!

“Well you sure found a little bit from somewhere. You really need to decide if you're Arthur or Martha and stop f**ing with people.

"If you was that capable you'd never have been put on dishes. You shied away from that side as you was too nervous to, don't tell me how experienced you are because you're all talk Scott and deflecting onto [chef's] hygiene is a d**k move.

“No wonder you're desperate for new friends if this is how you behave."

The final messages allegedly called Scott "desperate," and signed off with "nice move just take care tranny."

Scott has said that the experience has affected his confidence (Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

Scott said: “For someone who owns a pub – you think they’d come back with a more responsible reply – rather than that.

“I was pretty taken back at first, I had to double check it was the same person.

“Nothing really phases me – I’ve never been exactly straight. It doesn’t bother me.

“But this is the first time someone has directly messaged me calling me those words.”

Scott soon contacted the police – who went round to Ms Ridley’s to speak to her.

Scott was told there was probably not enough evidence to prosecute, and does feel the landlady has perhaps been given a “slap on the wrist.”

Scott said: “I went to the police pretty much as soon as she sent ‘take care tranny.’

“I felt it had gone too far. If nothing is done then she’ll think she’s getting away with it. The reason why I wanted to tell the story is because I know there are people out there that struggle to speak up for themselves.

“If I can reach out to someone to say there is someone who has their back in the trans community then great.”

Speaking to Cornwall Live, Ms Ridley said Scott's claims were "insulting, unnecessary, provoking and full of lies.”

She said: "He has misinterpreted messages I have sent to him in the wrong way.

The ‘Arthur or Martha’ thing is just a London saying and is nothing to do with his sexuality."

''I welcome all minority groups and I actively encourage people to do them. You do you.''

"It’s a disgruntled ex-employee that was with us for two shifts and I wouldn’t even count him as an employee. I’ve never paid him a penny.”

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed that the incident was dealt with.

They said: "Police investigated a report from the Looe area of Cornwall of a hate crime relating to an abusive message sent over social media on Sunday 27 June.

"Officers subsequently spoke with a local woman and words of advice were given. The outcome was agreed with and supported by the victim as the best course of action."

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