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Action-Alert: Winn Dixie –
Talking Back to the Beef People

Florida Mobilization Against Winn Dixie
for Gender Stereotyping and Transgender Bias

Former Winn-Dixie employee Peter Oiler and his wife Shirley "I was fired from one of America's largest grocery store chains because I am transgendered -- they said my behavior was harmful to the company's image.

To be told that after 21 years with the company felt like a knife in my chest. I showed up for work on time, did a good job and followed all the rules, but on January 5, 2000, I was fired because I cross-dress off-duty.

We lost our health insurance, and nearly had our home foreclosed. The unbearable stress took, and still takes, a toll on our health and continues to affect our 24-year marriage."

Peter Oiler-- Former Winn Dixie Employee

Jacksonville, Florida--Not only has Winn Dixie dismissed Oiler based on inaccurate and harmful gender stereotypes, but the corporation has thus sent a powerful message that anyone, even when away from a place of employment and in the privacy of his or her home, is open to bias and judgement.

FORGE condemns what it calls Winn Dixie's “infringement on personal privacy and liberty” And it has vowed it will not tolerate such injustice.

FORGE is also encouraging “all who stand against discrimination to follow through on a suitable course of action which can be chosen in the alert below:

FORGE is coordinating a protest to be held from 11:00am - 3:00pm on January 5th, at the Winn Dixie Corporate Headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida.

Come to Jacksonville to make your presence felt and your voice heard!

For further details about this protest, please contact:
FORGE at or at 727-328-0889.

Help tell Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. (one of the nation's largest Fortune 500 companies) that its corporate image has, indeed, been stained--by its own unconscionable discriminatory practices.
A Sample e-mail message:

You can send your messages directly to any of the e-mail addresses below, or you may use Winn-Dixie's own customer feedback form:

If you send your own e-mail, use "Customer Feedback" or a similar wording in the subject line:

Suggested Points to be Made:

"I am writing to express my shock, disappointment and anger that Winn-Dixie fired an employee of more than 20 years because he cross-dresses off-duty.

"Peter Oiler was told that his behavior harmed Winn-Dixie's corporate image. Indeed, your company's image has been badly tarnished -- not by the actions of a loyal employee, but by Winn-Dixie's unconscionable discriminatory practices.

"Discrimination based on gender stereotyping is wrong -- plain and simple. Discrimination based upon gender stereotypes affects many Americans, and many Winn-Dixie shoppers. I will not be shopping at Winn-Dixie this holiday season, and I've asked my friends, family and colleagues to shop elsewhere as well."

Related Stories from the GayToday Archive:

A Man Who Follows Jesus and Sometimes Wears a Dress

Transgender Equality: A Handbook for Activists Published

Transsexual Amanda Milan, 25, Murdered in Manhattan

Related Sites:
Shame On Winn-Dixie


GayToday does not endorse related sites.

Alternate Action:

1. Join FORGE for a protest Rally at Winn-Dixie National headquarters this Friday, January 5, at 11 a.m.

2. Wherever you live, contact Winn-Dixie directly to share your views about discrimination based on gender stereotyping (contact information and sample messages are at the bottom of this e-mail);

3. Forward this URL, especially to people who live in the Southeast or may be visiting during the holidays. This is an opportunity for all of us to put into action our conviction that each workplace must be free of gender stereotyping;

4. Check the Mobilization's web site: for updates on local protests and additional action.

Call, e-mail or fax Winn-Dixie.

Find a different grocery store, even if it's farther away.
Contact Information:
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.:

National Headquarters (Jacksonville, FL)
Al Rowland, President & CEO
P: 904-783-5000
F: 904-783-5235

New Orleans Division (where Peter Oiler worked)
Michael Istre, Division President
E-Mail: P: 504-731-2200
F: 504-731-2379

(For other Regional Division contacts, go to Winn-Dixie has a helpful directory of all its 1,200 stores (in AL, FL, GA,IN, KY, LA, MS, OH, OK, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA), with manager names and phone numbers. Visit the database (searchable by zip code) at

Points to emphasize over the phone:

  • Tell them you will not be shopping at Winn-Dixie.

  • Explain that you're concerned because Winn-Dixie is judging its employees not based on how they do their jobs, but on who they are. Stereotypes of any kind do not belong in the workplace.

  • Mention Peter Oiler, who was fired because of gender stereotyping because he did not act or look the way Winn-Dixie thought a man should. This discrimination is unconscionable and affects a wide cross-section of people.

  • Tell them you're asking all of your friends and family in the Southeast not to shop at Winn Dixie.
    Telephone: 727-328-0889.
    Louisiana transgender activist Courtney Sharp:


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