Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The (Miss) Adventures of Michele, Queen of the Desert

My brother Terence alerted me to this story that ran in his paper back home in Phoenix. Michele deLaFreniere, chairwoman of Scottsdale’s Human Relations Commission, has filed a complaint against the owner of a nightclub in Scottsdale for banning all transgender people from his bar.

Tom Anderson, the owner of Anderson's Fifth Estate, claims he had no choice but to ban deLaFreniere (is it just me or do all trannies have these VOILA! names???) and her friends because "dozens" of women had complained about their using the women's bathroom. Since he’s liable for the safety of his customers (having them use the men's room wasn't an option either because the neanderthals who frequent this place were harassing them in there), Anderson claims he had no choice but to ban transgendered people from the bar. "There was no place I could put these people," he said.

hile I'm skeptical that "dozens" of people were complaining (deLaFreniere claims she had been to the bar many times and women were always supportive of her and her friends), I don't doubt that the situation might have escalated quickly (Anderson claims deLaFreniere threatened to use her position with the city against him, a claim she denies although why wouldn't she? She works for the Human Relations Commission for crying out loud). But Anderson indignantly denies saying -- as he refused her and one of her friends entry into the club a couple of days after Thanksgiving, something he does not deny -- "I don’t want your business or your kind here,'" by claiming, "That’s a dramatization she wants to make to further her cause. I don’t use that kind of language," he said. “I don’t have a problem with (the transgendered). If that’s the way your life is going, so be it. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest"

You ban fellow human beings from your place of business based on who they are and what they look like, saying you don't have any place to put "these people" and you don't have a problem with them? Now he can see what it's like for transgender people when they come across someone who does have a problem.

Footnote: My brother Terence doesn't buy the "dozens" of complaints bit either, although he notes: "I can't imagine any man or woman seeing this transgender person in any restroom and not being frightened, especially after a couple of drinks. She looks like she'd knock you on your ass." Better watch it, Tom. (And the girl looks pretty fierce for 52, I might add.)


Anonymous said...

I hate when bars discriminate against men or women whether they were born that way or ended up that way. I'm also against promotions like ladies' night, etc. Bars suck. Fine, people want to go drink, but to get asses in barstools they always seem to use whatever LCD gimmicks they can dream up. Meanwhile, the women who complained need to get over themselves. It's not like this person is invading their john (their jill?) for kicks.

Anonymous said...

At one time I was pretty fierce not anymore. Most of the info got way over blown by the media. When Tom and I sat down to settle the issue we both put the pieces together and traced a time line and relized how much the media pitted us against each other.
But heck the war is over it's time to move on and party.