A group of trans women in Los Angeles went to a bar to celebrate DTLA Proud Fest — only to be forcibly kicked out by security. The bar is now facing protests and boycott calls, and the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
The women, who are employees of the nonprofit Bienestar Human Services, were enjoying their night at the bar Las Perlas when a couple reportedly began hurling anti-trans slurs at them. The couple allegedly threatened them with violence and even slapped one of them.
Las Perlas’s response? Security staff kicked out both parties.
A viral video shows the bouncers wrapping their arms around the women’s necks, dragging them out of the bar, and shoving them out the door. One woman repeatedly cries, “Don’t touch me like that!” before being pushed into a wall.
The women say that the bouncers didn’t put their hands on the couple at all when removing them. Moreover, the bar never provided any protection to the women from the anti-trans harassment, which continued after their removal.
“They left us out on the street with the aggressors when the police hadn’t even arrived, and after the aggressors had threatened us to come back and kill us,” one woman from the group, Khloe Perez-Rios, told BuzzFeed News.
In a world where trans women of color face staggeringly high rates of violence, they were understandably scared.
The Los Angeles Police Department is now investigating the incident between the couple and the women as a hate crime. People are also calling for the L.A. community to #BoycottLasPerlas. On Saturday, a huge crowd gathered outside the bar in protest, forcing it to close down.
Las Perlas has fired its security staff. The bar also says it will donate its profits from the weekend to Bienestar Human Services.