This case has got quite a bit of media attention in the Daily Mail which used the headline 'I'm a human pet' (check out the comments there) and on the net even on Fox News. :
Goth who walks fiance on a leash is banned by bus driver who told him: 'No dogs allowed'| News | This is London
Given that she describes herself as a human pet – and is happy to walk around on a lead – Tasha Maltby is used to odd looks and even odder remarks.
But nothing had prepared her for the reaction of the bus driver who allegedly told the self-styled Goth and her boyfriend: "We don't let freaks and dogs like you on."
Miss Maltby and her fiance Dani Graves were so angered they have complained to the bus company of being "victimised".
"It is definitely discrimination, almost like a hate crime," 19-year-old Miss Maltby said yesterday.
The music technology student had this defence of her lifestyle.
"I am a pet, I generally act animal like and I lead a really easy life," she said.
"I don't cook or clean and I don't go anywhere without Dani. It might seem strange but it makes us both happy. It's my culture and my choice. It isn't hurting anyone."
The bus driver, however, has obviously not been listening.
He has repeatedly refused to allow Mr Graves, 25, and his "pet" on to his bus in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
Last month, with Miss Maltby on a leash as usual, the couple tried to board a bus at the bus station.
The driver, who was off duty, was standing near the door.
Mr Graves alleged: "He shoved me off the bus. He called us freaks and he called Tasha a dog.
"He said, 'We don't let freaks and dogs like you on'.
"He basically grabbed my T-shirt and slammed me backwards.
"I got a bit angry and called him a fascist pig."
In a separate incident, police were called when the driver, who has not been named, refused to allow other passengers on board after the couple ignored his orders and sat down.
The couple, who live on benefits in a council house and plan to start a family, have been friends for years.
They started going out together in July and became engaged in November.
Paul Adcock, of bus company Arriva Yorkshire, said: "We take any allegations of discrimination seriously.
"Mr Graves has already contacted us directly and as soon as our investigation has concluded we will inform him of the outcome."
Goth couple's upset at 'freaks and dogs' jibe
- 19 January 2008
- Source: Dewsbury Reporter
TWO goths say they are being victimised by a bus driver because of the way they dress.Dani Graves, of Thornhill, said he was once physically pushed off a bus by a driver who said he and his fiancee Tasha Maltby were not allowed to travel on the service.
According to Mr Graves, he said: "We don't let freaks and dogs like you on." Mr Graves, 25, said on December 8, he and Miss Maltby, 19, went to Dewsbury bus station to get an Arriva service to Thornhill.
An off-duty bus driver was also on the service, getting a lift back to the depot at Mill Street East. This driver, who was still in uniform, allegedly pushed Mr Graves off the bus and refused service to the couple. Mr Graves said: "He shoved me off the bus. He called us freaks and he called Tasha a dog. He said, 'we don't let freaks and dogs like you on'.
"He basically grabbed my T-shirt and slammed me backwards. I got a bit angry and called him a fascist pig."
Mr Graves reported him to the manager at the bus depot, who said his complaint would be dealt with.
But last Saturday, the couple tried to get on a bus at Dewsbury bus station, at about 10.25pm. The same driver was at the wheel and as they approached he shook his head.
The pair showed their passes and sat down on the bus but the driver refused to let any other passengers on until they got off.
Mr Graves and Miss Maltby refused to get off the bus but were eventually forced off after being threatened with police action. And on Monday, Mr Graves was waiting for a bus in Thornhill, this time alone. He said he held out his arm to flag it down, but the same driver smiled and drove past.
Mr Graves relies on the bus service as he does not drive and suffers from a circulation problem that means he cannot walk long distances in cold weather.
He said he always got on with other bus drivers and although he took his fiancee round on a lead, they always took it off before getting on a bus as it could be dangerous.
Mr Graves said he believed this driver's treatment of them was purely down to the way they dress. He said: "He doesn't like the fact we wear black clothing. We expect the odd comment, but we don't expect it off a bus driver.
"I have been a goth most of my life and it's the first time I've come across anything like this. It's crazy."
Paul Adcock, operations director for Arriva Yorkshire, said: "We take any allegations of discrimination very seriously and we will be investigating all of Mr Graves' claims. Mr Graves has already contacted us directly and as soon as our investigation has concluded we will inform him of the outcome."
Goth culture grew out of the gothic rock scene of the 1980s. Goths typically distance themselves from the rest of society and wear black clothes and make-up.