HRC Staffer Says She Faced Discriminatory ID Check to Use Cuba Libre Restroom
"I don't want this to happen again to any LGBTQ person in this city."
Human Rights Campaign staffer Charlotte Clymer says she was discriminated against while at Cuba Libre in the District last night. A worker at the restaurant asked for identification when Clymer, who is transgender, tried to enter the women's restroom before leaving the premises.
The Penn Quarter Cuban restaurant was hosting a "Latinx Noche de Baile" event at the time. Clymer was there for a friend's bachelorette party.
She describes what happened on Twitter:
I was there w/ a large group of girlfriends. We're having a bachelorette weekend for my good friend @emilycrockett, and first on our list was a dance party being held at @CubaLibreDC. Everyone had a great time. Lots of dancing and drinking and hanging out with great people.
Near the end our time there, I went to use the restroom with my friend and before I reached the door, an attendant stuck out his arm and said he needed to see my ID. When I asked why, he said that "female" must be on an ID to use the women's restroom. No one else was asked.
This is a packed hallway in a packed club/restaurant, and this random staff person specifically picks me out to ask for ID. I told him that's nonsense, turned on my heel, and continued into the restroom. My friend is telling him that he's making a mistake.
I go into a stall to do my business, and I hear him walk in and search for me in this busy restroom full of women. He is doing everything but opening the stall doors. I ignore him, and after a few moments, he leaves. I do my business, wash my hands, and walk out.
On the other side of the door are the attendant and the manager, who says it's D.C. law that you must have "female" on your ID to use the women's restroom. I tell him he's wrong and there's no chance I'm showing him my ID. There are people crammed into this hallway. It's busy.
He insists I need to show my ID, I tell him that's not happening, and demand to see what law he's citing. He refuses to show me the law and instead says, "You being in there will make women uncomfortable." We're in the way of everyone, and a lot of people are watching this.
I was angry and needed to cool off, so I again refuse to show him my ID and walked out of the restaurant to get my bearings. I brought up D.C.'s law regarding restrooms on my phone and walked in, straight to him, to show him how this is illegal.
He treated me like I was being irrational, glanced over the text and said "that's incorrect". He continued to refuse to show this imaginary law he was citing and threatened to call the cops. I told him he should absolutely call the cops. Please do. He then said I need to leave.
I told him I work for the Human Rights Campaign, he's making a mistake here, and he needs to adjust his course of action. I told him this is discrimination and said he's being a bigot. He laughed and mocked my workplace. "Oh, I know you folks at [address]."