Charlotte Clymer, a transgender woman and activist with the Human Rights Campaign, said a D.C. restaurant asked her for ID when she tried to use the women's restroom and kicked her out when she refused.
WASHINGTON — A D.C. restaurant asked a transgender woman for ID when she tried to use the women’s restroom and kicked her out when she refused.
Charlotte Clymer, an activist who works with the Human Rights Campaign, was celebrating a bachelorette party on Friday with friends at Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar in Northwest D.C. when she was stopped by a staff member as she tried to use the women’s restroom.
Last night, I was told by the manager of @CubaLibreDC that I couldn’t use the women’s restroom, and after challenging his discrimination with D.C. law and responding to his threat of calling the police w/ “please do so”, I was forcibly removed from the restaurant. (thread)
Clymer asked the manager to show her which law states that. He refused and threatened to call the police, she said in a tweet.
When she pulled up the actual law on her phone and told him that what he is doing is illegal, she said the manager said “That is incorrect,” and refused to show her what law he was citing and continued to threaten to call police, which Clymer eventually encouraged him to do.
The manager persisted that Clymer leave and the bouncer came up and joined in asking her to leave. After explaining the situation to him, the bouncer grabbed Clymer’s arm and pushed her out of the restaurant.
Clymer called D.C. police. When the officers arrived, she said they told her that she was correct on the law.
I could not have asked for a more professional and affirming experience from @DCPoliceDept. The responding officers — all cisgender men — were patient and kind in their communication, assured me I was right on the law, and radioed for their LGBTQ liaison unit to respond.
— Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar — Washington D.C. (@CubaLibreDC) June 23, 2018
Clymer expressed skepticism of Cuba Libre’s statement.
“I wish I could be magnanimous and let this be sufficient, but I can’t,” she wrote on Twitter. “Your manager intentionally made up a fake law to humiliate me, mocked me when I patiently showed him the actual law and acted with condescension and aggression in response.”
.@CubaLibreDC I am wholly unconvinced that “training” will address the shortcomings in the character of your manager. His callousness and bigotry far exceeded a simple lack of understanding. He was intentional in his discrimination. This person did not act in good faith.
In a statement late Monday afternoon, Cuba Libre co-owner Barry Gutin said he was “truly sorry” about the incident. Casa Ruby, a local LGBTQ community center, will be assisting the restaurant with special training and will help Cuba Libre “identify other initiatives that will support the transgender community,” he said. A contribution to Casa Ruby will also be made.
“I pledge that my staff and I will do all that we can do to ensure that such mistreatment does not happen again,” Gutin said.
The incident has attracted a lot of attention on Twitter.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote she was sorry for what happened to Clymer and praised D.C. police for how they handled the situation.
“We won’t accept this type of discrimination in Washington, D.C. It’s not just illegal, it’s against all we stand for,” Bowser tweeted.
.@cmclymer, I’m so sorry this happened to you. While I’m glad to hear that @DCPoliceDept were there to represent our true #DCValues, we won’t accept this type of discrimination in Washington, DC. It’s not just illegal, it’s against all we stand for. https://t.co/UAzUP9wlSS
Chelsea Clinton expressed her support of Clymer, as well, thanking her for sharing “this painful story.”
I am so sorry Charlotte this happened. Not remotely a reflection on you. Thank you for sharing this painful story. As ever, your grace and bravery shine through. Hope you have a great rest of the weekend with your girlfriends.