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Trans man speaks out over claims of ‘transphobic’ viral encounter at Palm Springs dispensary

A transgender man is speaking to News Channel 3 over a heated exchange that happened at a Palm Springs dispensary. The man who goes by the name, Dev Royal, posted a video of the encounter to social media platform, TikTok, last week. The video has more than 70,000 views and more than 1,000 shares. According to Royal, he was kicked out and banned from Four Twenty Bank Dispensary and Lounge "for trying to use the men's bathroom as a trans man" last Saturday.

"Why don’t you tell me what you just said!? That I changed my gender marker on my license but that’s not enough?" Royal asked of those behind the camera in one portion of the video.

Royal spoke with News Channel 3 on Thursday to give his account of what happened.

"I was there for about 45 minutes. I get up to go use the restroom. I walk towards it. All of a sudden this woman is standing in front of it blocking me," Royal said.

He claims he was then asked a series of questions.

"She asks me which restroom I’m going to. I tell her I'm going to the men’s restroom and right away she tells me, 'You can’t go in there and I ask why and she says, 'because you’re female,'" Royal said.

He later found out that the woman he spoke of was the co-owner of the cannabis dispensary, Juliette Montante.

"There’s no reason I would do that. Anybody is welcome here. They can use whatever bathroom they want," Montante said.

"The very first thing she says is 'you can't go in there because you're going to be looking at men's parts," Royal said.

"Watch the videos. You'll see him-- you'll see him video taping and TikToking going into the bathroom," Montante said.

Montante has a very different account of what happened that night. She shared with News Channel 3 surveillance video that captured Royal TikToking on his phone right outside the bathroom for more than a minute before entering with his phone. Royal said he was on TikTok but was also trying to figure out how to turn off the video, and that no one was in the restroom.

"The only reason I talked to him was because there were a few people in the stalls and I told him basically that he had to wait until the bathroom was empty and also at the Four Twenty Lounge here we’re not transphobic at all," Montante said.

The video that went viral was recorded after the incident at the bathroom.

Royal stands by what happened that night and said it was "extremely transphobic." But Montante said at her business, they welcome everyone no matter what gender they identify with.

"I want this to stop. It’s 2021. This should not be happening especially in Palm Springs, California and they should take accountability," Royal said.

"I don’t understand the reason I wouldn’t accept him being a male, we accept everybody. I never had a conversation regarding male and female. I did make a mistake--- he was aggressively kind of attacking me as you can see in his video. He was coming at me. And I did call him a her and then I apologized for it," Montante said.

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Shelby Nelson

Shelby Nelson is a News Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. She joined our team in September 2019. Learn more about Shelby here.

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