A woman and her wife were told they would have to leave a bowling alley in Melbourne after one of them tried to use the women’s bathroom.
Jessica Walton and her wife Charlie were enjoying a night out at their local bowling alley until a security guard told Charlie she had to leave after she used the women’s toilets.
Walton took to Twitter to share her experience:
“Our night took a sudden turn for the worse. It’s 2:40am and we’re still awake, processing what happened. Char is so distressed. I wrote a thread on it earlier but I’m redoing it as part of this thread to explain what happened more clearly.”
“Tonight my wife was threatened and discriminated against by an Executive Security Solutions guard at @StrikeBowling QV. She was told she was going to be forcibly removed from the premises for using the women’s toilet. We were celebrating on a rare kid-free date.
“As she left the women’s toilets, a guard stopped her and aggressively told her to leave the premises (not the toilet, the entire venue). Char was incredibly upset and asked why. The guard said it was because she was using the women’s toilets.
“The guard said if she didn’t leave the premises she would be removed forcibly. He called for another second guard. My partner was so scared.”
Tonight my wife was threatened & discriminated against by an Executive Security Solutions guard at @StrikeBowling QV. She was told she was going to be forcibly removed from the premises for using the women’s toilet. We were celebrating our birthdays on a rare kid free date. pic.twitter.com/IVH01C4cXJ
— Jessica Walton (@JessHealyWalton) October 20, 2018
Walton got involved and it was only when Charlie offered her hand and introduced herself as “Charlotte” that they left them alone.
Jessica tweeted that when they brought the incident to the manager, the security guard blamed “bad lighting” on mistaking the woman for a man. They requested to make a formal complaint and were told to do so on the website. One staff member noticed that the women were visibly upset and offered them free vouchers as an apology. Jessica praised this staff member for their kindness but added that it “shouldn’t fall on LGBTIQA staff to make LGBTIQA customers feel safe and welcome”.
Walton later confirmed that the company that runs the bowling alley reached out to the women to formally apologise for the incident, and to inform them that they are implementing policies to ensure that it will never happen again.
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