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Trans woman thrown out of bar in viral video opens up: ‘I felt defeated’

Reiss Smith September 3, 2019

A video showed two trans women and a queer man being dragged out of the Las Perlas bar. (Khloe Perez-Rios)

A trans woman who was dragged from a Los Angeles bar by security staff said that she felt “defeated” following the attack, which came hours after she had given a speech on violence against her community.

Khloe Perez-Rios was part of a group of trans women and queer men who were dragged out of the Las Perlas bar and restaurant in downtown LA after being verbally attacked by a “transphobic” couple.

Video footage taken by Perez-Rios shows security staff putting one trans woman in a headlock and dragging another as she screams: “Don’t touch me.”

Speaking after a week which has seen protests and a police investigation into a possible hate crime, Perez-Rios revealed to Out magazine how the attack felt particularly disappointing for her.

She said that she and her colleagues had been celebrating the opening ceremony of DTLA Pride, during which she had spoken on stage about the 16 trans women who have been killed so far this year.

“An hour after speaking about trans women being killed, I’m facing that reality – of fearing for my life and being threatened by someone,” she told Out.

Didn’t we just celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots?

“I felt defeated. I felt like everything we worked for is failing. Didn’t we just celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots?

“I thought we were moving forward, but we haven’t. Nothing has changed. There’s a lot of work that we need to do. It was a feeling of sadness for the community.”

Trans women removed after couple ‘yelled homophobic slurs’.

Perez-Rios said that security staff became involved in the attack after a couple came to her table and “began yelling transphobic slurs” unprovoked.

“They were saying in Spanish that we were not women, that we were men with wigs on, that we did not belong there, and that we should leave,” she told Out.

“We ignored their comments and went back to our conversation.”

Perez-Rios said that things “got out of hand” when one of the couple slapped one of her friends.

As more than 300,000 viewers have witnessed, security broke up the argument by dragging a trans woman from the bar.

Outside, the women faced further abuse from the couple.

“They were throwing metal things from the sidewalk and yelling: ‘I’m going to go get my gun from the car and I’m going to shoot you all. I’m going to kill you,'” Perez-Rios said.

Police investigating possible hate crime.

Pouring With Heart, the company which owns Las Perlas, has apologised for the incident and vowed to hire new security staff.

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said that his office is in communication with the state’s police department (LAPD) while they conduct an investigation.

“Los Angeles is a place where hate against any person, regardless of gender identity, is not tolerated,” he tweeted.

The LAPD posted its own statement, writing: “LAPD is investigating the incident at Las Perlas restaurant in DTLA. Please know that the department is committed to ensuring the safety of every Angeleno, as well as the right of all to live their true lives in peace, harmony, and free from anxiety or fear.”

More: Los Angeles, Trans, Transgender, viral video

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