In my own city, a popular bar called The Bishop recently refused a patron participation in Ladies Night (free drinks) because the bouncer thought she was a he. She is Alex Borrego, and her ID says she’s a female. Alex was born male but spent “two years of hell” transitioning to a female.
The transition process isn’t easy. It often involves numerous medical appointments and treatments, psychological evaluations and counseling, a legal mess, support (or not) from family and friends, and heap of courage. There are lots of different terms used to describe the variations from the traditional (and outdated) binary models of male vs. female and masculine vs. feminine, but here’s what it boils down to: a transgender person wants to live on the outside how they already feel on the inside.
Alex and her friends decided to leave the bar that night, but soon after the incident, they launched a Facebook campaign to boycott The Bishop. It wasn’t long before the owner of the bar, Dean Marshlack, caught wind of the campaign. He immediately apologized and did it the right way by not making excuses for his staff. He used the situation as a teachable moment and took the opportunity to educate his staff. The Bishop is also changing its Ladies Night policy so any person who says they are female, even if they don’t have an ID, will be served.
The sad truth is that there are far more people out there besides this bouncer who do not understand any kind of variation when it comes to the spectrum of sexuality that lies between male and female. Today I simply commend the use of the teachable moment, the sincere apology, the coverage of it in the media, as well as Alex’s courage to speak out. In the future, The Feronia Project commits to dig deep into transgender issues.