Halifax's leading theatre company says it has altered its production of Shrek: The Musical in response to a transgender person who walked out of a recent performance to protest an offensive word.

Ky Grey said he walked out of Neptune Theatre's opening night performance of the musical after the character of the Big Bad Wolf used the word "Tranny."

Grey, 20, who was at the March 29 performance with his mother, said the word followed several mocking references to the wolf character being a cross-dresser.

"That word was dropped and it's used as violence against trans-women specifically," he said. "But just in general it brings up a lot of bad emotions and feelings of transphobia in me and the community."

Grey said the word, which he can't bring himself to say, was upsetting, as was the reaction in the audience.

"Just the idea that this character who was supposed to be a man dressing in a dress and how funny that was, hearing kids laugh about it -- it was all very overwhelming."

Grey said he stayed until intermission and then left the theatre.

He said he later complained to the theatre management and eventually met with general manager Amy Melmock to discuss his concerns this week.

Contacted about Grey's complaint, Neptune Theatre's director of sales and marketing, Jennie King, provided an emailed statement expressing its "active support" for the LGBTQ community.

"We were upset to learn that one of our productions created a feeling of distress among members of the LGBTQ community in Halifax and a change was immediately made to remove the offending word," the email states.

"Neptune has spoken and met with these members of the LGBTQ community to understand and address their concerns."

Grey said the offensive term has been replaced by the word "hairy."

An avid theatre fan, Grey said he understands the company can only go so far with the material.

"I understand that they have limits to what they can change based on the rights that they do or do not have to the show," he said.

Grey said he believes the issue goes beyond artistic license when there is an impact on people affected by what's portrayed, intended or not.

"The message they have tried to portray about acceptance came across as mockery not just to me, but to other transgender people who attended."