Transgender woman claims she was thrown out of Uber

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - “An Uber driver just literally kicked me out because I was transgender,” Chanel Santini said as she wiped away the tears that streamed down her face.

It’s not the kind of picture that Santini would ever want anyone to see, but still she posted the video Thursday morning on Snapchat. Moments later, she said she was left stranded and standing in a gas station after an Uber driver ordered her out of his car.

“No matter what my identity is, at the end of the day, transgender or not, I’m still a woman and you don’t treat women like that”, Santini said.

It started about 6 a.m. Thursday, when Santini landed at Bush Intercontinental Airport from Las Vegas and used her Uber app to hail a ride to her hotel in the Galleria area.

When the driver arrived, Santini said he immediately sexually harassed her and asked cruel questions.

“He asked if I was a stripper. I mean, who asks that kind of question? He said I sounded like a man, my voice he said, sounded like a man.  He told me my body was like a man’s”, Santini said.

Santini, who works as a photographic model, said after several offensive remarks, the Uber driver ordered her out of his car, shortly after picking her up.

“He was just going to drop me off right there, and then when I went to take a picture of his license plate, he throw my suitcase and my purse out of the window,” Chanel said.

Channel 2 Investigates contacted Uber Sunday night and the company responded with this statement:

“We have a strict policy prohibiting discrimination of any kind on the Uber platform and will not tolerate the behavior that has been described here.”

In the end, Santini said she has no problem with Uber. 

She said they refunded her money and provided her with an alternative ride to her hotel.

But she said the driver that she encountered should be fired immediately.                                          

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2