A transgender woman was banned for life from The Cosmopolitan casino in Las Vegas earlier this month. Her crime: using a women's bathroom.
According to HotelChatter, the woman, referred to as Stephanie, was visiting The Cosmopolitan's bar while attending a conference in Vegas on April 11. Around 4 AM, she decided to use the women's restroom (in New York, where she lives, law dictates that people can use public restrooms of whatever gender they identify as). When she exited, she was met by security guards who demanded to see her ID and asked if she was "working" (presumably, they meant "as a prostitute"). When they discovered her ID listed her as legally male, they issued her a document banning her from the premises for life, and stipulating that if she returned, she would be arrested for trespassing.
As HotelChatter points out, this is disturbing in a whole bunch of different ways. First there's the obvious: security guards booted someone from a hotel for no greater crime than using the restroom of her identified gender (not that this should matter, but it was empty). Also, they appeared to assume that a trans woman in a casino must be a sex worker. And finally, The Cosmopolitan has been trying to market itself as LGBT-friendly and even has a certification requiring that it offer "LGBT diversity and sensitivity training for employees." Guess those guards might need a booster session.
The Cosmopolitan has now recognized that it royally screwed up, and has issued a statement reading, in part:
We sincerely regret any misunderstanding or inappropriate actions that any member of our staff may have taken. And to ensure increased sensitivity within this area, the organization will focus on continued training and on-going awareness initiatives. In addition, we apologize to the individual guest and welcome her back to the resort anytime. We would like to apologize to the LGBT community and anyone concerned and hope to demonstrate our firm dedication to fair and unbiased treatment of all.
As Vegas Happens Here points out, apologizing is just the first step. Let's hope their actions match their words.
The Wrong Amount Of Wrong: Barred For Life From The Cosmopolitan For Being Transgender [HotelChatter]
UPDATE: Cosmo Welcomes Back Banned Transgender Guest [Las Vegas Weekly]
Meanwhile, Transgender Drama Grips The Cosmopolitan [Vegas Happens Here]