Polo Lounge clubber ‘ejected over anti-trans campaign T-shirt’ The Times 21.01.20

The original article is here.

A bisexual woman who says she was kicked out of a gay nightclub for wearing an “anti-transgender” T-shirt has reported the incident to police.

The woman, a student in her twenties, claimed that she was thrown out of the Polo Lounge after refusing to follow the male stewards’ orders to take off or reverse her top because it had an “LGB Alliance” logo on the front.

Footage of her outburst after she was forcibly removed on Saturday has had more than 600,000 views.

Trans clubbers complained that the T-shirt logo was discriminatory because it omitted the “T” from “LGBT”, the abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

The woman, who has chosen not to reveal her identity, reported the incident to police last night and is considering legal action against the club for allegedly breaching the Equality Act 2010.

Before the incident she had been to the launch of the LBG Alliance, a campaign group to oppose Scottish government reforms which would make it easier for trans people to change the gender on their birth certificates.

About 150 activists attended the event in the Glasgow on Saturday night. When it finished the woman and her friends went to the nightclub. At about 4am on Sunday morning in a video posted on Twitter she said: “I’ve just been removed because trans people — who I didn’t even see — said I was threatening to them or something.

“Don’t I have the right to support lesbians, gays and bisexuals? But they’ve [trans people] got some weird ultimate power where they can get me kicked out of a club because they don’t like an acronym on a T-shirt.”

The incident has led to angry exchanges between the LGB Alliance supporters and trans activists. The LGB Alliance was branded “trans-exclusionary” and a hate group for promoting the views that “biological sex is real” and “sex is binary, not a spectrum”.

Avery Edison, a transgender comedian, tweeted: “Wow, an explicitly transphobic hate group’s merchandise is not tolerated in a LGBTQ space, what a shock. Nice work, Polo!”

Others said that the nightclub had discriminated against the woman. Joanna Cherry, QC, the SNP MP for Edinburgh South West, said: “Throwing someone out of a bar and refusing them a service on grounds of their sexuality is a breach of the Equality Act. Basically saying you can’t be a lesbian unless you’re my kind of lesbian, from a man, is unacceptable.”

The LGB Alliance has crowdfunded more than £46,000 as part of its campaign. It opposes the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, under which trans people as young as 16 would be able to request a gender recognition certificate, which changes their birth certificate and their “legal sex”, without a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria. The bill would also reduce the time they have to live as the gender with which they identify from two years to three months.

The group was co-founded by Bev Jackson, a gay rights activist who helped set up the Gay Liberation Front in 1970. She claimed many trans people attended the launch event at the weekend. She said: “LGB Alliance is shocked by the behaviour of a gay club throwing a young woman out merely for wearing a T-shirt with our logo. We had hoped the days when young LGB people were thrown out of clubs were long gone.”

Daniel Donaldson, the woman’s solicitor, said: “My client appears to have been singled out for treatment on grounds that she was wearing a T-shirt that reflected her sexual orientation.”

The Polo Lounge and G1 Group, which runs the venue, declined a request for comment last night.

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