person speaking at table in restaurant with caption 'Someone texted you and said' (c) person speaking at table in restaurant with caption 'no child has been in here.' (c) person speaking at table in restaurant with caption 'because I'm a trans person,' (r)

/@lillytino_/TikTok Remix by Caterina Cox

‘People are just horrid’: Troll makes up story about child to get trans creator kicked out of restaurant during live stream

‘We are the scapegoats for the world’s problems.’

 

Kristine Villarroel

IRL

A TikTok has gone viral for showing on camera the real and dangerous harassment that transgender people often face. 

Lilly Contino, a full-time content creator, food critic, and self-described “professional transgender person” was targeted by a troll while live streaming from a restaurant a few weeks ago. 

@lillytino_

While I was streaming at a restaurant, an anonymous transphobe texted the owner to try and get me thrown out.

♬ original sound – lillytino

The creator was eating at San Francisco’s Crown & Crumpet when the restaurant owner, Amy Denebeim Dean, approached her regarding a text she had received about the trans creator allegedly talking to a child. 

“Someone texted you and said that I had said something inappropriate to a child,” Contino said in the video. 

“No child has been in here,” Dean responded. “So somebody’s got too much time on their hands.” (The Daily Dot reached out to Crown & Crumpet for comment.)

“It kills me that there’s blatant pedophilia with people in places of power and yet there’s this agenda to attack trans people,” one commenter wrote about the video. Another commenter said that “people are just horrid.”

Contino believes this wasn’t an isolated incident but instead a slice of the reality of being trans in America. 

“Even if it didn’t happen, they assumed that because I’m a trans person that it is my nature to do so,” Contino said in the video. 

“It’s dumbfounding,” Dean replied. 

Commenters on Contino’s video praised Dean for her openness and kindness in approaching the situation. 

“The owner’s reaction seemed so sweet, I think they learned something from you in a positive way,” a commenter wrote. 

Contino told the Daily Dot she live streams on TikTok five days a week. During her live streams, she goes around San Francisco and tries out eateries with her audience. She hopes that eating on camera helps audiences relate to her. 

“When I’m sitting there and just eating, it’s like you’re sharing a meal with me. And a lot of times, sharing a meal with someone is all it takes to understand them,” she told the Daily Dot. “If you see a trans person eating, you already have something in common with them.”

Contino said she usually doesn’t hide where she’s located during the live streams.

But now, she said, she feels she must take more safety precautions when streaming, including obscuring her location. She already works with a team of 20 moderators for live streams.

Contino told the Daily Dot that shortly after the incident at Crown & Crumpet, she faced a similar situation at a different San Francisco restaurant where she was live streaming.

She said a waiter came up to her with someone who claimed to be Contino’s brother on the phone. Contino asked the waiter to ask the person on the phone for their name, and the person hung up immediately. 

“So that was doxxing No. 2,” Contino said. “I’m like, ‘Welcome to the world of being an internet person with people who spend hours and hours of their day every day trying to discredit me, bring me down, scream at me, etc.’”

Contino said she thinks every trans person is concerned about their safety to an extent because of the political climate and the legislation that has been passed targeting trans people across states.

“The reality of being a trans person in the United States right now is that we are the scapegoats for the world’s problems,” Contino told the Daily Dot. “And it’s only getting worse and worse every day, so in some ways, that’s why it’s so important that I keep doing what I’m doing. But also, there is a certain level of risk for me, and that risk continues to grow after all.”

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