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Lyft bans driver after Drag Race star says they were ‘kicked out for being gay’

Nick Duffy December 13, 2017

Lyft has banned a driver after a RuPaul’s Drag Race star claimed they were kicked out of a car for being gay.

Jay Rivera appeared on Season 9 of Logo reality series RuPaul’s Drag Race as the drag queen Aja.

The professional drag queen, who is set to star in the next season of Drag Race All Stars, was allegedly discriminated against during a ride with Uber clone Lyft.

Rivera’s partner, who goes by the name Lizard Lemon, took to Twitter to make the allegation.

He said: “Me and @ajaqueen were told to get out a @lyft for being gay. Not kidding. The driver asked us to leave after kissing. In New York City. Really really disappointing”.

After angry Drag Race fans barraged the company with complaints, Lyft reached out to the couple – asking them to officially report the incident.

 

Within hours, a spokesperson confirmed that the driver involved had been blocked from using the platform.

A spokesperson for Lyft said: “We have zero tolerance for any type of discrimination on our platform, and are committed to maintaining an inclusive and welcoming community.

“As soon as this incident was brought to our attention, we reached out to the passengers to offer our support.

“The driver has been deactivated from the Lyft platform.”

Lyft drivers are classified as independent contractors instead of employees, and it is unclear if Lyft carried out a formal investigation process prior to the “deactivation”.

It is not the first time that Lyft and its rival apps have faced homophobia allegations.

Earlier this year Lyft removed a driver who had embarked on a homophobic rant.

Speaking to PinkNews, passenger Austin Vaden alleged that a driver told him she believed being gay was a choice.

She also said that she believed the Government was making children gay by putting something in immunisations shots.

Vaden lodged a complaint with the platform. A Lyft spokesperson later told PinkNews the driver has since been removed.

On that occasion, Lyft said: “We are committed to maintaining an inclusive and welcoming community, and these comments are completely at odds with our values as a company.

“As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we deactivated the driver from the Lyft platform.

“No one using our service should ever feel discriminated against because of who they are, and we have reached out to the passenger to express our concern about this incident.”

Last year a gay couple in San Francisco said they were kicked out of an Uber by the driver for kissing.

Matt Togni and his boyfriend Sumeet said they got into the Uber on the night of San Francisco Pride.

The couple say they kissed and Togni told Sumeet that he loved him – at which point the driver called them “disgusting.”

Cancelling the fare, the driver told them to get out.

The passenger said it was “ridiculous” that this happened at all, let alone on the night of Pride, and went on to say that initially they weren’t sure if they had misheard the driver.

But after telling them to get out of the car, the driver allegedly said, “fags rot in hell”.

Two women were allegedly subjected to homophobic abuse and physical threats by their Uber driver last year.

Also in 2016, Uber suspended a London driver who attempted to eject a lesbian couple from his car for kissing, while another Uber driver subjected a London passenger to an anti-gay rant.

A different Drag Race star recently claimed on social media that they were kicked out of a gay club for being ‘too femme’ – only for the club owners to contradict their story and claim they were “aggressive towards the security personnel”.

More: Aja, Anti-gay, car, Drag Race, Gay, homophobic, LGBT, Lyft, RuPaul's Drag Race, taxi, US

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