A 24-year-old transgender man has filed a lawsuit against the city after a Parks Department employee ordered him to leave the men's locker room of a Staten Island public pool last July.

According to a complaint, Bryan Ellicott, who has identified as male since 2012 and is undergoing hormone therapy, entered the men's locker room at Lyons Pool on Staten Island on July 21 last year. Currently lacking the funds to undergo a pricey double mastectomy, Ellicott wears a chest binder under his clothes in order to appear more masculine. On that particular day, he wore swim trunks under his jeans and left his shirt and chest binder intact.

Once in the locker room, he removed his jeans, put his things in a locker, and headed for the pool. After around 30 minutes in the sun, Ellicott decided to swap out his black t-shirt for a white one. (Pool rules dictate that only white shirts may be worn in the water.) He went back to the locker room to change, and was promptly confronted by a Parks Department employee, who informed him that someone had complained about his presence and that he needed to use the women's locker room.

Ellicott repeatedly asked to speak to a supervisor, but was only confronted by two additional male Parks employees, neither of whom identified themselves nor their rank, and none of whom asked to see Ellicott's drivers license, which identifies him as male. After repeating that Ellicott had to either use the women's locker room or leave, Ellicott opted for the latter.

Ellicott, who works for the Office of Emergency Management and took his name in memory of his father, a 9/11 first responder, said in a statement that he wants to prevent anyone else from experiencing the pain and humiliation he felt that day.

“Like hundreds of other New Yorkers that day, I was just trying get some relief from the sweltering heat and enjoy an afternoon at the pool,” he said. “Instead, I was singled out by pool staff because I am transgender. They harassed and humiliated me. No one deserves to be treated that way, but it’s an all-too-common experience for transgender people like me when we use restrooms and locker rooms.”

The Parks Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.