A teenage trans girl known only as Melissa shared with local news website Sobaka the humiliating ordeal she experienced while trying to gain entry to the popular Russian nightclub Ionoteca.
While she was initially refused from the St Petersburg club for being underage, the bouncers decided to go one step further by degrading her. One of the bouncers announced, “This monster will not come in here, we have normal people here”. The bouncers, one of whom appeared to be drunk, then forced the teenager to lift up her skirt upon viewing her ID.
Melissa elaborated, “The problem is that I’m transgender and I have not been able to change my documents yet and so I have a man’s passport, but I look like a girl”.
Adding insult to injury was the response Melissa received from the club’s owner, Alexander Ionoff when she contacted him on social media about her degrading treatment. “I’m sorry,” he said, “but you have a whole life of humiliation ahead of you. You knew what would happen [when you transitioned], now bear it.” Ionoff then topped it off by blacklisting Melissa from the club.
Ionoff was forced to backtrack when the posts quickly spread on social media but his ‘apology’ contained yet another dig at Melissa – calling her a “man”. It stated, “The club has always positioned itself as a place of complete freedom. There are absolutely different people hanging out around us: gays and transgenders, and all kinds of representatives of the left-liberal circles: artists, poets, musicians, etc. I regret what happened, the situation was not beautiful, I sympathize with a man who did not get into the club, no more.”
The owner of the Russian nightclub then feebly attempted to show he was a supporter of the queer community by sharing a couple of photos of him having makeup applied and a guitar he owned which had a rainbow strap.
This is just the latest event in Russia’s worrying treatment of the LGBT+ community, which has gained more media attention due to its controversial hosting of the World Cup.
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