A transgender woman has received an out-of-court settlement and an apology from a pub in Dublin city centre in Ireland after she was refused service because of her gender identity.

Sonia Kolasinka went to Madigan’s bar after a political meeting in Dublin last August, but when she arrived, the doorman told her it was a booking-only night, according to The Irish Times.

Kolasinka told the doorman that the organisers of the political meeting must have booked a space, as she could see them in there. She walked in, but was followed by the security guard, who told her she had to leave.

Transgender woman who was refused service was having a ‘nice night’ before the incident

Kolasinka told The Irish Times: “I told my friends and they asked why. They started arguing with the guy. I heard the bouncer talking to them and I just overheard ‘trans’ and ‘this trans person.’”

She said she had been having “a nice night” until the incident occurred.

Transgender woman refused service in Dublin pub

“I was stopping myself crying. It was so humiliating and it was like my whole world broke. I realised this is what it feels like to be discriminated against,” she said.

After her friends argued with the security guard, Kolasinka and her friends were allowed to stay in the venue. They had one drink to prove a point before going on to another bar.

“I realised this is what it feels like to be discriminated against.”

– Transgender woman Sonia Kolasinka

Afterwards, she approached a number of solicitors about the incident, and said that some refused to take her case. She finally found a solicitor and settled the case in January.

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An apology was printed in Ireland’s Gay Community News (GCN) this month from the bar which said: “On behalf of Alabaster Associates Limited and its directors, we wish to sincerely and unreservedly apologise to Sonia Kolasinka, a transgender woman, who was subjected to discrimination and humiliation by a third-party security contractor at our venue on 25th August.”

It added: “The actions of this contractor do not reflect the values of our company and our employees.”

Kolasinka came out as transgender two years ago

Kolasinka, who is 39 years old, came out as transgender two years ago, and said that this was the first time she experienced discrimination for her gender identity.

Speaking to GCN last September about the incident, Kolasinka said she was “humiliated” and “hurt” by the incident.

“I realised that I am being discriminated against just because I’m transgender.”

– Transgender woman Sonia Kolasinka

“I didn’t know what should I do. This whole situation didn’t feel right. My friends having drinks and I’m being asked to leave.

“I realised that I am being discriminated against just because I’m transgender.”

Speaking to the same publication last year, John Molyneux said the group immediately challenged the doorman when the incident occurred.

“He alternated between saying that Sonia did not fit the dress code and that he did not have to give a reason, and muttering about ‘this transgender person or whatever she is,’” he said.

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