All Bobby Rodriguez wanted to do was dance. So the 21 year drove 40 miles to Corpus Christi from suburban Kingsville, TX to go to a club called Whiskey River to do just that
But Rodriguez only got as far of the door of the establishment at 5702 S. Staples St. in Corpus Christi when he was told by a bouncer that in order to enter the club he would have to remove his lipstick and false eyelashes due to the club’s dress code.
A dress code that not only wasn’t posted at the door according to Rodriguez and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, but one bars people from entering unless they have ‘gender appropriate attire’.
Gee, where have I heard those words before?
“I approached the door I handed my ID to the security at the door (and) his words were and, I quote, ‘unfortunately, you cannot enter because you are wearing makeup and we have a rule here that says men need to dress like men,'” said Rodriguez.
Despite being upset about what he was told, Rodriguez complied by wiping his lipstick off in his car, but later complained about the discriminatory happenings on his Facebook page.
The club’s owner Angela Blohm, called Rodriguez’s allegations in a Caller -Times interview a ‘bunch of frivolous baloney’ and denied it happened while admitting that the club has a ‘gender appropriate attire’ dress code.
And as you probably guessed, people are rushing to defend and excuse the homophobic and transphobic dress code.
If Blohm thought the best way to handle this was be insulting, dismissive and deny it happened, that was the wrong response. What she should have done was apologize to Rodriguez, not double down on the arrogant defiance.
That dismissive response has not only drawn negative commentary from people incensed about the way Rodriguez was treated, it has triggered a protest organized by Kathy Huff that is scheduled to happen this Thursday.
The May 17 protest of Whiskey River is scheduled to run from 6-9 PM CDT. It is drawing support from Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) and other Texas based advocacy orgs.
It also has driven home the case of why nondiscrimination laws are needed that cover gender identity and expression in every Texas city and statewide.