Video of transgender women being forcefully removed from a bar in Los Angeles after allegedly being the target of a hate crime by other customers has prompted protest in the city.
Protesters gathered outside the Las Perlas bar to criticise the venue after two transgender women were filmed being roughly handled and removed from the establishment by security.
According to ABC News, volunteers and staff members from Bienestar Human Services, an LA nonprofit organisation completed a two-day DTLA Proud event.
They were soon approached by a heterosexual couple at the bar, according to a press release, prompting a confrontation.
Jennifer Bianchi, who was part of the group from Bienestar that was kicked out, recalled:
My friend was insulted and called a bunch of derogatory names and then I proceeded to go and speak to this guy. I was like, “You can't do this, you can't call her — you can't mistreat her,” so the guy started getting aggressive, started yelling at me, calling me all sorts of names, saying that I was a man, that I was a man.
The NGO continued by saying eventually the confrontation came to a head when the couple said, “We will come back and kill you.”
In a statement to KABC, the bar managers claim both groups were ejected from the bar, and the security guards forcibly removed only those that refused to go, and they called the incident “rare and unfortunate.”
The trans women claimed that the they were treated differently from the heterosexual couple.
“Securities from [Las Perlas] are the ones who used excessive force to remove us from the premises. And just to note, for the record, I want to say that the same excessive force was not used to remove those people that came to us with transphobic slurs,” said Khloe Perez-Rios, a program manager for Bienestar who was there at the time and recorded part of the altercation.
Police are investigating the incident and they said they filed a hate crime report.