US: Atlanta bar openly refuses entry to trans woman ‘because we’re a private property’

Aaron Day November 10, 2013
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In a video posted online, an Atlanta bar and restaurant has been caught denying entrance to a transgender woman whilst openly admitting their “right” to discriminate against her because they are a “private property.”

The Don Pollo Bar & Grill in Atlanta, Georgia, refused entry to Alissah Brooks on account of her gender identity.

Ms Brooks was told by security at the front entrance of the bar: “You can’t come in because you are a man.”

Caught on film, Brooks’ friends, drag performers Mariah Paris Balenciaga and Y’Marie Santiago, confronted the security team and manager who said they would not allow Brooks entrance.

The person holding the camera says: “Our friend was discriminated against by your security… the problem was she is transgender and he (the bouncer) denied her entry.”

The employee at the front entrance then interrupts: “What’s wrong with that?”

He added: “Yeah, we can do that. We have the right to be selective… We can do that, we’re private property. We have the right to do that.”

FENUXE Magazine reports the stop at the bar came after Brooks joined an LGBT GLAAD Atlanta reception on Thursday.

She described what happened in a Facebook post on Friday, following the incident: “Last night at about 3:30am I and two friends decided to go to ‘Don Pollo’ on Buford hwy in Atlanta GA. I was refused entry because of me being transgender.

“The security/management said ‘you cant come in because you are a man.’ I’ve traveled just about everywhere in this country. I have even entered the most straightest places many would steer clear from and I have never been turned down to enter an establishment. Unfortunately I was last night. Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Speaking to FENUXE Magazine, she said: “My reaction is simply just surprised. Like I said in my post I’ve never had this happen. So it feels awkward. Feel a little less than.

“As for what’s next? I’m just spreading the word so everyone is aware. I’m involved with GLAAD and my best friend Kat Graham is helping share the story and just make everyone aware of the situation.

“I’m not seeking a lawsuit. Just awareness. Hopefully an apology and maybe they can be more sensitive to other girls like myself.”

Following the incident, Don Pollo has received an outpouring of negative feedback online.

One review reads: “Well if you are transgender make sure your ID matches your gender or they will not let you in WOW SHAME SHAME SHAME.”

Although there are no laws in Georgia banning discrimination on gender identity, Atlanta has its own legislation in place protecting the rights of transgender people.

In 2010, Atlanta agreed to pay $1 million to a gay bar raided by police because of anonymous reports of drug use and and men having sex.

More: Americas, Atlanta, bar, bouncer, Discrimination, Georgia, Mariah Paris Balenciaga, nightclub, restaurant, Trans, trans woman, Transgender, transphobia, US

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