For an establishment to claim they value inclusivity, said establishment should be prepared to handle difficult situations appropriately and with enough social literacy to avoid further disrespecting marginalized populations.
This does not appear to be the case at Las Perlas in downtown L.A., where a group of trans women and their friends were forced out of the bar, either by chokehold or being carried away, according to the L.A. Times.
The late-August incident is especially alarming as it happened during the first night of DTLA Proud, a festival that celebrates the city’s LGBTQ community at Pershing Square, merely four blocks from the bar’s 6th and Main Street location. Even closer is Redline, a gay bar neighboring Las Perlas.
Based off proximity alone, how does the bar’s management lack the foresight to remind their staff of their own ‘safe space’ policy? Their policy must not have been as much a priority as they claimed. If this was true, surely someone would have confronted the offending party about their constant misgendering of the victims.
Despite their failure, at least the management at Las Perlas had enough common sense to fire the security personnel who poorly handled the conflict. Only now is management concerned with ‘sensitivity training’ in their next batch of security guards.
Thanks, but no thanks. This should have been a priority since day one, and shows the naivety of management since they want to make it a point that trans people also work at the bar. Hopefully they decide to quit in solidarity with their community members who did not deserve to be treated the way they were. Better yet, the queer community as a whole should continue the boycott of the bar that broke out on Twitter and Instagram.
It is unfortunate that the LGBTQ population still experiences these instances where larger society does not practice acceptance. Understanding the differences that humans possess — whether it is sexual orientation, gender identity or race/ethnicity — along with not bothering people who aren’t doing anything wrong, are not complex concepts. As much of a pipe dream as it is, people across the country need to show empathy for one another, and step in (within reason) when unjust public conflicts happen.
Yes, the bystanders should be shamed, too. The victims politely asked their aggressor to leave them alone, which obviously did not work. Anyone else who was not one of the parties involved yet knew what was happening shares the fault in this situation. Allowing harassment to occur in public gathering places only enables further toxic behavior since people believe they can get away with it.
Instead of using ‘not my business’ as a justification when watching discrimination unfold, people should adopt a greater sense of social responsibility. No one wants to be on the receiving side of a threatening confrontation, so why not lend a hand? Someday a stranger might pay it forward when you need it the most.
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