GCN has been informed that a transgender woman was refused entry to a popular pub in the heart of Dublin’s city centre purely on the basis that she is a trans woman.
The incident took place last week after a group who were attending a People Before Profit (PBP) public meeting decided to go for a pint and Sonia Kolasinka was asked to leave by a doorman.
Speaking to GCN, Kolasinka said:
“I was feeling humiliated in front of my friends Vincent, John and others. This hurt me a lot. I was about to cry. I was stopping my tears. 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.
“I knew I can’t ask everyone to go to another venue. I was feeling very alone.
“I really wanted to cry and what stopped me from crying was Vincent’s and John’s reaction.
“They acted immediately. They took my side. In that moment I felt amazing. They were standing up for me. Vincent Browne stood up for me, transgender girl.
“That was bigger than anything ever in my life. And we all went together to another venue. They didn’t have to do that, but they did. Vincent Browne did it for this one transgender girl.”
Members of this group included the speakers at the meeting, Kieran Allen and Vincent Browne. John Molyneux, who was also in attendance, shared his account of the event with GCN:
“Shortly after Sonia Kolasinska, who had been at the meeting, came into the pub followed hotfoot by the doorman who said she was not allowed in. Sonia is a transwoman.
“We immediately challenged the doorman about this telling him he was totally out of order and demanding to know the reason Sonia was being excluded.
“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 he or she is’”, Molyneux claimed.
Molyneux says that the dress code argument was “utterly ridiculous” as Sonia was very smartly dressed.
Vincent Browne who also witnessed the incident echoed this by pointing out that Sonia had no trouble getting into the Gresham hotel where the PBP Public Meeting had taken place.
Molyneux continued saying, “In reality, it was blatant transphobic discrimination. We demanded to see the manager; the doorman claimed to be the manager – an obvious lie – but refused to give his name.
“By this time a considerable crowd of PBP supporters had gathered and were surrounding Sonia, then a more senior figure came out and tried to ‘calm things down’.
“The doorman continued to be aggressive and obnoxious but it became clear they realised they had bitten off much more than they could chew and were backing down and not actually going to try to throw Sonia out.
“I offered to shake hands with (them both) – kind of to accept their surrender. The more senior figure shook hands, the bigoted doorman refused. But we went back to the bar and I ordered Sonia a drink and was served. We stayed drinking for a while to make the point and then collectively moved to somewhere more pleasant.”
We contacted the pub in question to ask them about this incident to which they stated:
“We were not aware of this incident taking place.
“We will create our own internal investigation into this matter to gain an understanding of what took place.”
For legal reasons, we currently cannot name the pub where this incident allegedly took place.
© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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