Whiskey River, a Texas bar, is still under fire after it refused entry to a gay man last week because he was wearing makeup.
After LGBT activists and supporters protested the venue on Thursday, manager DJ Twinky Gallegos said the bar enforces a strict dress code to “keep everybody safe.”
Bobby Rodriguez, a resident of Corpus Christi, Texas, was told he had to remove his makeup if he wanted to come into the bar last week.
Rodriguez was allegedly told he couldn’t come in because of “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.
The dress code, which cannot be found on Whiskey River’s website, states that patrons should wear gender appropriate clothes.
According to Gallegos, it was implemented after a transgender woman was assaulted at the venue “a couple of years ago.” The woman sued Whiskey River, which had to compensate her and pay for legal bills.
On Thursday, when protesters showed up at the bar, they were greeted by a pickup truck sporting the American flag, as well as Whiskey River’s own flag. The bar also played “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” by War.
“There was no reason to bring in the gay community,” said Gallegos. “What happened at the door with removing the makeup had nothing to do with him being gay or straight.”
Rodriguez told KristiTV6: “We thought we came a long way, but yet we still have to fight for little things.
”For me, I feel like it was discriminatory. 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.”
Addressing the dress code, Gallegos said it would remain in place.
“Gentlemen have to wear their hats forward. No baggy clothes, no tattoos on the face. We have a very strict dress code for a reason and our patrons love that,” said Gallegos.
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Rodriguez, who watched Gallegos’ interviews, said his apparel respected the establishment’s dress code.
“I wore a checked button up shirt and a pair of pants that were not baggy at all,” Rodriguez told PinkNews. “Yet [they] did not mention men can not wear makeup.”
“To keep people safe from what? We are not there to kill, shoot, or beat up anyone. We are there to have a good time just like anyone else,” he added.
“Makeup is not gender-specific and hasn’t been for a long time now.”
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