Transgender woman thrown out of restaurant for using women’s bathroom
A transgender woman has been forced to leave a restaurant after using the women’s bathroom.
Charlotte Clymer, who works for the Human Rights Campaign, was repeatedly asked to prove that she was female – which she did not have to do, legally – before being thrown out of Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar in Washington DC.
Last night, I was told by the manager of @CubaLibreDC that I couldn’t use the women’s restroom, and after challenging his discrimination with D.C. law and responding to his threat of calling the police w/ “please do so”, I was forcibly removed from the restaurant. (thread)
— Charlotte Clymer ️ (@cmclymer) June 23, 2018
The incident came as trans people face increasing hostility in the US, with President Donald Trump repeatedly attempting to impose a military trans ban and various states and school districts trying to stop trans kids from using their bathroom of choice.
Clymer tweeted that she was at the restaurant with a large group of friends, who were holding a bachelorette weekend for one of their number.
“Everyone had a great time,” she wrote. “Lots of dancing and drinking and hanging out with great people.”
This changed when she wanted to use the facilities.
“I went to use the restroom with my friend and before I reached the door, an attendant stuck out his arm and said he needed to see my ID,” wrote Clymer.
“When I asked why, he said that ‘female’ must be on an ID to use the women’s restroom. No one else was asked.
“This is a packed hallway in a packed club/restaurant, and this random staff person specifically picks me out to ask for ID,” she added.
“I told him that’s nonsense, turned on my heel, and continued into the restroom. My friend is telling him that he’s making a mistake.
“I go into a stall to do my business, and I hear him walk in and search for me in this busy restroom full of women. He is doing everything but opening the stall doors,” Clymer continued.
“I ignore him, and after a few moments, he leaves. I do my business, wash my hands, and walk out.”
But when she got out, more trouble was lying in wait.
“On the other side of the door are the attendant and the manager, who says it’s D.C. law that you must have ‘female’ on your ID to use the women’s restroom,” said Clymer.
“I tell him he’s wrong and there’s no chance I’m showing him my ID.”
The manager continuously attempted to get her to leave, but Clymer knew her rights, showing him the law which allowed her to use the women’s bathroom without showing ID.
“He treated me like I was being irrational, glanced over the text and said ‘that’s incorrect.’
“He continued to refuse to show this imaginary law he was citing and threatened to call the cops. I told him he should absolutely call the cops. Please do. He then said I need to leave.
“I told him this is discrimination and said he’s being a bigot. He laughed and mocked my workplace. ‘Oh, I know you folks at [address],'” she recalled.
Clymer was then physically forced out of the restaurant.
“A bouncer came up and said I need to be reasonable,” she wrote. “I told him the situation and said I would not be leaving until the cops are called. No chance.
“I explained the law to him, and he continued his condescending plea for me to leave. He then grabbed my arm and pushed me out.”
Clymer then called the police, who she said were “patient and kind in their communication” and “assured me I was right on the law.”
She vowed to pursue “all available legal options” against Cuba Libre, which has since issued an apology over Twitter, writing that it was “extremely sorry” for the incident.
“As a rule, we support safe bathrooms and welcome guests of all gender identifications,” the statement continued.
— Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar – Washington D.C. (@CubaLibreDC) June 23, 2018
“Clearly our staff did not do so last night and treated you in an unacceptable manner. We are immediately retraining our entire staff to ensure this does not happen again.
“It is particularly disappointing that this has occurred during Pride month when we’re undertaking efforts & events to support the LGBTQ community.”
The mayor of DC, Muriel Bowser, also apologised to Clymer, writing: “I’m so sorry this happened to you.
.@cmclymer, I’m so sorry this happened to you. While I’m glad to hear that @DCPoliceDept were there to represent our true #DCValues, we won’t accept this type of discrimination in Washington, DC. It’s not just illegal, it’s against all we stand for. https://t.co/UAzUP9wlSS
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) June 23, 2018
“While I’m glad to hear that @DCPoliceDept were there to represent our true #DCValues, we won’t accept this type of discrimination in Washington, DC.
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“It’s not just illegal, it’s against all we stand for,” she added.
A total of 12 trans people have been killed this year in the US, including 38-year-old Antash’a English, who was shot dead in Jacksonville, Florida, earlier this month.