Gay man sues Spirit Halloween store in Charleston after manager calls him a gay slur

A gay man has sued a West Virginia party store, claiming an employee called him ‘f****t’ and sued him shirtless for trying to make a Halloween outfit ‘fluid’ gender “.

Trevor Anderson, of Charleston, West Virginia, says he remains a shell of himself after the October 2021 incident at his local Spirit party store.

Anderson says he turned to cigarettes to cope with stress and said her boyfriend Jonathan Pereira threatened to throw it because of the marked change in his behavior.

The drama began after Anderson bought a plaid mini skirt and a shirt belly for his Halloween costume, a fluid interpretation of the kind of character Clue, Mr. Green.

Green was a closeted gay man in the 1985 film adaptation of the board game and was portrayed by actor Michael McKean.

But some parts of Anderson’s attire didn’t fit, and he returned to the store to ask for a refund or credit.

He says this is the time that a store manager, identified in the lawsuit as Thelmon Penn, 33, confronted Anderson while refusing to pay it for purchases.

“Perhaps you just shouldn’t try on women’s clothing,” Penn allegedly said, according to court documents.

Things escalated when Anderson asked Penn for his name and number to file a formal complaint, to which the store manager responded with a series of gay slurs.

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Anderson, photographed, asked the store manager Thelmon Penn, his name and number to file a formal complaint, which Penn responded with a series of homosexual insults.

Trevor Anderson, left, her partner, Jonathan Pereira, alongside Andrew Schneider, executive director of Fairness West Virginia, who filed a lawsuit against the store Wednesday

Trevor Anderson, left, her partner, Jonathan Pereira, alongside Andrew Schneider, executive director of Fairness West Virginia, who filed a lawsuit against the store Wednesday

A Spirit Halloween store is pictured.  Anderson says he was homophobicly abused after trying to return a flowing outfit at a West Virginia venue (file photo)

A Spirit Halloween store is pictured. Anderson says he was homophobicly abused after trying to return a flowing outfit at a West Virginia venue (file photo)

“I won’t give my number to af*****,” Anderson recalled, telling Penn in an interview with The Daily Beast.

Anderson said Penn then kicked him out of the store shouting ‘get out, get out, f****** f*****’ before trying to fight him in the parking lot.

Anderson then called his partner, Jonathan Pereira, who was also present during the incident, and the couple walked to their car.

A shirtless Penn began the load on the other side of the parking lot as the two climbed into their vehicle and have banged his fist on their chest while shouting obscenities and insults as they escaped with little, it is alleged.

The Daily Beast reported that Pereira was so paralyzed with fear that Anderson had to start the car himself from the passenger seat before pushing Pereira’s foot down and pulling the gear lever as they Penn fleeing.

Little information was available about Penn, but a restraining order was issued against him weeks before this incident in West Virginia Family Court in Jackson County, according to online records.

Pereira, pictured, was so paralyzed with fear that Anderson had to start the car himself from the passenger seat before shoving Pereira's foot down as a shirtless Penn chased them

Pereira, pictured, was so paralyzed with fear that Anderson had to start the car himself from the passenger seat before shoving Pereira’s foot down as a shirtless Penn chased them

The incident has since left Anderson’s life in shambles, he told The Daily Beast.

“It’s ruining my life,” he told the outlet.

“It’s ruining my friendships. It’s ruining my relationships. I’m not Trevor anymore. I can’t believe that one man has completely changed my life, to the point where I don’t even recognize my feelings and my spirit anymore.

Anderson filed a complaint with the support of Fairness West Virginia, his lawyer stating that no action was taken against Penn by Spirit Halloween in the five months since the incident.

“Members of the LGBTQ community have faced harassment and discrimination,” Anderson’s attorney, Ben Salango, told the West Virginia Gazette-Mail.

“It is long past time for this to end. Spirit Halloween has known for five months that his manager did that to Trevor, and in five months – no excuses, no recognition, to my knowledge, no reprimand or discipline his manager.

Anderson alleges one count of assault and one count of inflicting emotional distress in a lawsuit, pictured, filed Wednesday by Fairness West Virginia

Anderson alleges one count of assault and one count of inflicting emotional distress in a lawsuit, pictured, filed Wednesday by Fairness West Virginia

To Salango’s knowledge, Penn is still employed by the store, the outlet reported.

Anderson alleges one count of assault and one count of inflicting emotional distress in a lawsuit filed Wednesday by Fairness West Virginia,

West Virginia is one of 18 states that does not provide protection from anti-LGBT discrimination.

In 2017, the Supreme Court of West Virginia ruled that the word “sex”, as defined in the law on state hate crimes, did not cover the crimes committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation .

And the West Virginia Human Rights Act does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

In recent years, the state legislature has failed to advance a bill called Fairness Act, which would add a label to the law on human rights that would provide such protection to the LGBTQ community the state.

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