Statement of Discrimination

On the night of August 31, 2013, I was attending a fundraiser being hosted by the Colorado RUSH Rugby Football Club at Hamburger Mary’s. I attended the fundraiser dressed in drag and remained that way throughout the night. I had no issue using my ID getting drinks while at Mary’s. After the fundraiser, people started to migrate over to the Denver Wrangler. I decided to remain in drag as I found my outfit comfortable. I have worn genderqueer in my past and never encountered any issues with my ID. When I got to the Wrangler, I had my ID in hand and was told that I did not look like my picture. Immediately, I removed my wig which left me with only a light layer of foundation, some eye shadow, and lipstick. The person working security at the door, Assistant Manager Pat Steimer, told me that my gender on my ID must match how I am presenting. I began to challenge the Assistant Manager who then called out the General Manager, Phillip Newland. Phillip informed me that I should have known about their policy being that I was from Denver. I informed him I am not from Denver but only moved to the State in the last 9 months. Phillip then threatened to call the police if I didn’t leave the property. I left initially but then returned with my phone out to record the stated reason by the Wrangler. My phone was promptly held up and I was approached by Pat on the sidewalk. He told me I would be arrested if I didn’t leave. I asked him why I was not being let in and if it was because the gender on my ID did not match how I was presenting and he nodded affirmatively. He then called for Phil to come back out, and we engaged in about four minutes of Phil trying to justify how his policy is not inherently transphobic. It ended once they resumed threatening arrest. Afterwards, I went to four different establishments, where the bartenders all confirmed they would serve me. The following morning, I posted the video to the internet and started a Facebook group called “Boycott the Denver Wrangler.” The story was picked up by a blog called Planet Transgender, where Phillip Newland confirms the bar’s ID policy. Furthermore, on another posting on Facebook, another employee of the Wrangler, Keithen Vaughn, Barback, states, “the owner, manager, or bartender rom ANY CLUB in COLORADO has the right to refuse service to ANYBODY they want” in violation of Rule 20.4. A similar statement is also made by Phillip Newland. (All photoshots have been attached.) Keithen Vaughn has also stated that Drag Queens or those who the bar deems “not” transgender are not allowed in. The Denver Wrangler then sent a letter to my husband’s rugby team demanding that they remove all members of the team who have posted anything sympathetic to my complaint and/or boycott or have them remove the posts from their private accounts. (Screenshot provided.) The Colorado Rush RFC then forced my husband to resign as coach and from the Board of Directors. It is my firm belief that the Denver Wrangler violated Rule 10.1, 81.1 and 81.2, which protects individuals who have a gender identity different than societal expectations or who present their gender differently than societal expectations. I believe this is confirmed by the video provided and subsequent statements by members of the Wrangler staff.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful