Drag artist Vito John Marzano was denied admittance to the Denver Bear bar the Wrangler because according to the manager his license did not match his gender expression. This was in direct violation of the Colorado Department of regulatory agencies (Dora) Public Accommodations Discrimination policy posted below.
This was not the first time the Wrangler has been called out on transphobia. Autumn Sandeen posted about this bar while while trying to find a trans friendly watering hole for a upcoming visit to Denver on Pams House Blend in 2008.
The Wrangler has since removed that discrimination policy from their website but obviously they still adhere to it in thought word and deed.
Vito John Marzano posted this to the facebook group “Boycott the Denver Wrangler”:
“The Denver Wrangler has a well documented history of discriminating against people whose perceived gender identity on their ID does not match how they present.”
“I did not know this until the night of 8/31, when I went there in Drag after a drag pageant at Hamburger Mary’s. I was denied entry for the above stated policy by General Manager Phil and the Assistant Manager Pat.”
Vito John Marzano continues:
“I pointed out that Colorado has an anti-discrimination law against transphobia, their response is that I am not trans. I asked how would they know the difference and they tried to say the first step for any trans individual is to get a new ID from the state. I then got into a four minute argument with them (all on video) about this discriminatory policy. Their response was very clear: no drag queens, no trans (unless your ID matches your gender identity), and nobody who doesn’t adhere to their myopic view of masculinity. I also want to point out that after this incident, I went into three different bars (two of which are straight) with my ID and asked the bartender if they would serve me. They were shocked I was even asking and more shocked that a gay bar on Denver would do this. Then women started telling me how they are discriminated and treated horribly by the Denver Wrangler when they have gone with their friends.”
“This entire policy is bullshit. Not only is drag an integral part of LGBT culture, our trans- and genderqueer kin should not be denied entry into an established whose primary function is to take money from the LGBT community. I am also going to point out that that Denver Wrangler has been previously challenged. Their “policy” was taken off their website. It may not be on their website but it is still going strong and it is enforced by the bar staff.”
“The LGBT community needs to come together and fight any form of discrimination, even if it comes from our own community. Boycott the Denver Wrangler until they treat all of their patrons equally.”
Colorado Law prohibits discrimination in places of public accommodation based on certain protected classes (characteristics). Examples of prohibited discriminatory practices include: terms of service; denial of full and equal service; intimidation; failure to accommodate; access; conditions; privileges; advertising; and retaliation. A place of public accommodation can be a: bar; restaurant; financial institution; school or educational institution; health club; theater; hospital; museum or zoo; hotel or motel; public club; retail store; medical clinic; public transportation; nursing home; recreational facility or park; and library.
Colorado law prohibits discrimination in places of public accommodation based on actual or perceived sexual orientation. By legal definition, sexual orientation means heterosexuality, homosexuality (lesbian or gay), bisexuality, and transgender status. Transgender status means a gender identity or gender expression that differs from societal expectations based on gender assigned at birth.