LA community rally in protest after trans women forcefully ejected from bar

The women were dragged out by security staff in headlocks following an alleged transphobic incident.

A rally on a New York street, people holding signs in protest against transphobia

LA community rally in protest after trans women forcefully ejected from bar

Following an incident caught on video in which two trans women were roughly dragged from a bar after an alleged transphobic incident, some of the local LGBT+ community and their allies organised a rally in protest.

The inciting incident occurred when staff from a local LGBT+ community group – Bienestar Human Services – went to the Las Perlas bar and restaurant to wind down after working on the opening ceremony of the DTLA Proud festival in LA.

The group of trans women and gay men were soon approached by a straight male and female couple who they allege began to use homophobic slurs and misgender the women. One of the women, Khloe Rios, told a local TV news channel, “We were attacked by a couple who was very transphobic, one of my co-workers was actually slapped in the face. The aggressors threatened to come back and shoot us and kill us.”

The group then say they contacted the Las Perlas management to complain when things began to escalate but allege that while the aggressors were asked to leave, the LGBT+ group were roughly removed from the venue.

The backlash from the community was immediate. As well as news interviews with the women, local groups organised a rally outside the Las Perlas venue which was recorded and shared on social media.

In response to the incident and the following protests, the Mayor, Eric Garrett, shared “Los Angeles is a place where hate against any person, regardless of gender identity, is not tolerated.”

People online have flooded the venue’s social media pages with one-star recommendations, blasting the way the trans women were treated by the security staff.

In response, the venue offered the following comment:

“Last evening, an escalated verbal altercation broke out among two groups of guests at Las Perlas. Our manager on duty asked both groups to leave as the safety and security of our patrons and employees is our top priority and we have zero tolerance for this type of behavior in our establishments.

“The guards removed the guests that were not compliant with the manager’s request to leave and did so in accordance with company policy. This was a rare and unfortunate incident as Las Perlas has provided an inclusive and welcoming environment since it opened almost 10 years ago.”

While the situation is ongoing, the LAPD released a social media statement saying: “All Angelenos deserve the freedom to coexist in harmony. Although we cannot comment on an ongoing investigation, rest assured the LAPD will thoroughly investigate the incident at Las Perlas.”

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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