People are boycotting a bar in Corpus Christi, Texas, after it allegedly refused entry to a man because he was wearing makeup.
The incident took place on May 9 at local haunt Whiskey River, when Bobby Rodriguez tried to enter the bar – a dancing place he had visited before – and claims he was refused by a bodyguard at the entrance.
Rodriguez was allegedly told he had to respect “a dress code that states men need to dress like men,” and only gained access to the premises once he had removed his lipstick and eyelashes.
He only complied because his friends had already entered the bar.
After the encounter, Rodriguez shared his experience in a Facebook post, explaining the situation and calling out Whiskey River: “I’ve never been so offended in my life WOW…”
His post was met with a wave of negative and transphobic comments, even though Rodriguez, 21, does not identify as transgender.
“We thought we came a long way, but yet we still have to fight for little things,” said Rodriguez.
- Whiskey River Corpus Christi/Google Maps
He told KristTV he always wore makeup when going out. He now feel he was discriminated against.
”For me, I feel like it was discriminatory,” he said. “I get it that we have to look like our driver’s licence, it could be a safety issue.
“But like, I don’t look all that different with makeup on. I think just the issue was that I was a male wearing makeup and not a female.”
The owner of the bar, Angela Blohm, told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that the conversation couldn’t be verified and called it “just a bunch of frivolous baloney.”
Blohm said Whiskey River’s dress code states “everyone must dress gender appropriate to the gender stated on their state-issued driver’s licence,” however, Rodriguez said he saw no sign regarding said dress code inside the premises.
Such a code cannot be found on Whiskey River’s website or Facebook page either.
Rodriguez said it was the first time he had encountered difficulties at the bar despite visiting more than once.
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“I wear makeup to every bar and no bar has ever had a problem with me,” he told BuzzFeed News, “If you didn’t want a dude wearing makeup, why not address it the first time?”
Local trans activist Kathy Huff organised a protest in front of Whiskey River, which is to take place on Thursday night.
“This is 2018, not 1950,” she said, “We don’t have ‘whites only’ bars anymore, we don’t have ‘whites only’ restaurants, and we don’t have straight anything. We need to be more inclusive and welcoming to everybody.”
Online, many people voiced their discontent with Whiskey River and they they wouldn’t visit it “until further notice.”
PinkNews contacted Whiskey River for comment but they have not responded at time of publication.