A Georgia restaurant done messed with the wrong girl. When drag performer Alissah Brooks tried to enter Don Pollo Bar & Grill last week after attending a GLAAD gala in Atlanta, the bouncer denied her entry. His reason? The sex listed on Brooks’ license is male, and she presents and identifies as a woman.
In a video Brooks posted to her YouTube channel, two of her friends confronted the bouncer and manager at Don Pollo, saying, “Our friend was discriminated against by your security… The problem was she is transgender.”
“What’s wrong with that,” the manager responded. “Yeah, we can do that. We have the right to be selective… We can do that. We’re private property. We have the right to do that.”
Brooks told Project Q Atlanta, “My reaction is simply just surprised… So it feels awkward. Feel a little less than. As for what’s next? I’m just spreading the word so everyone is aware. I’m involved with GLAAD and my best friend Kat Graham is helping share the story and just make everyone aware of the situation. I’m not seeking a lawsuit. Just awareness. Hopefully an apology and maybe they can be more sensitive to other girls like myself.”
Currently, the state of Georgia offers no protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Atlanta, however, passed a non-discrimination ordinance in 2000 that protects workers from discrimination based on gender identity. The ordinance seemingly would not prevent a private business from denying a person entry, however.
But where the government fails, the masses succeed. As the video clip continues to go viral, Don Pollo has been inundated with messages from Brooks’ supporters. One posting on their Facebook page nicely captured the sentiment: “Fuck this place. Hate is NOT on my menu.”