Things That Matter

Man Charged With Transphobic And Homophobic Attack At LA’s Las Perlas Last Year

Update: Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has filed charges against a man in connection with the transphobic attack at Las Perlas. The attack happened in August 2019 and it took almost a full year for someone to be arrested.

Eduardo Gonzalez has been charged in the transphobic and homophobic attack at Las Perlas.

Feuer’s office announced that charges had been filed against the man in the straight couple who verbally attacked Latina trans women and gay Latino men. Eduardo Gonzalez has been charged with “one count of making a criminal threat and a second count alleging that the criminal threat constituted a hate crime.”

According to the announcement, Eduardo Gonzalez threatened to get a gun when yelling as the group of LGBTQ+ Latinxs. Videos from the incident show the security team at Las Perlas dragging out the trans women and gay men in chokeholds. The straight couple who hurled the insults and threats stayed in the bar.

“Acts of hate against transgender people have no place in our society,” Feuer said in the annoucement. “Transgender people, especially transgender people of color, already face an unconscionable risk of violence. Perpetrators need to be held accountable.”

Original: Mezcal bar Las Perlas is facing calls for a boycott after security guards kicked out trans women and gay men after an altercation. According to reports, a man and woman maliciously misgendered the women and threatened to kill them. Bar security responded by dragging the trans women out in chokeholds. Here’s a breakdown of what happened and how Las Perlas responded prompting protest and calls for a boycott.

On Friday night, a video went viral of security at Las Perlas, a bar in downtown Los Angeles forcibly removing two trans women.

Credit: Khloe Bienestar / Facebook

The Facebook post by Khloe Bienestar, real last name Perez-Rios, details the events that led to employees of Bienestar, a Latino healthcare organization. According to the post, employees of Bienestar Health Services were at Las Perlas while celebrating DTLA PROUD, a pride event in downtown Los Angeles. While at the bar, a man and woman began harassing the group of trans women and queer men at the bar. What started as transphobic and homophobic slurs escalated into threats on their lives.

The video shows the trans women asking security guards what was wrong when they were grabbed in chokeholds and thrown out of the bar. The post claims the cis-gendered couple was removed from the bar without physical force but that was not the case for the trans women.

The video sparked immediate outrage on social media because of the treatment of the trans women in the video.

Credit: @DTAY_M / Twitter

“Why didn’t they keep us safe?” Jennifer Bianchi, the first transgender woman shown in the video, told The Washington Post. “Why did they kick us out like we were trash?”

Las Perlas released a statement shortly after the backlash mounted and have since deleted it.

Credit: lasperlasla / Instagram

The statement was met with disbelief. Commenters and patrons called out Las Perlas’s statement for downplaying the dangerous situation instigated against the trans women and queer men in the establishment. Instead, the statement attempts to shuck responsibility by saying the removal was done per bar policy, but people weren’t having it.

The bar then released a second statement trying to combat the backlash from the first statement.

Credit: lasperlasla / Instagram

In the second statement, Las Perlas makes pledges to rectify the actions and thoroughly investigate what happened Friday night. The bar owners have pledged sensitivity training for best policies on how to handle situations like this in the future.

But, people just want Las Perlas to admit that what happened was wrong and demanding answers to questions like why people were threatened with death and were thrown out of the bar.

Credit: idalia_rdl / Instagram

In response to the video, people are calling one other people to not just protest by boycotting Las Perlas, but all establishments owned by Pouring With Heart. Pouring With Heart is a hospitality group owned by Cedd Moses that runs several beloved and celebrated bars.

Some of the establishments owned by Pouring With Heart include: 4100 Bar, Arts District Brewing Company, Bar Clacson, Bar Jackalope, Bar Three Piece, Broadway Bar, Caña Rum Bar, Casey’s Irish Pub, Cole’s French Dip, Golden Gopher, Half-Step, Imperial Western Beer Company, The Normandie Club, Seven Grand, The Slipper Clutch, The Streamliner, Tony’s Saloon, and The Varnish.

Other people just flat-out don’t believe the statement.

Credit: a_mazeratti / Instagram

For some, the statement comes a little too late after the owner of the hospitality group placed blame on both sides.

The public outrage comes at a time when Las Perlas was looking to open another location in West Hollywood among other gay bars.

Credit: sofie_vissa / Instagram

It’s clear that West Hollywood patrons and residents are not in favor of the bar opening up in their neighborhood following Friday night’s altercation. According to Eater, Las Perlas was hoping to open their West Hollywood location before the end of the year.

By Saturday, 100 people assembled in front of Las Perlas and protested the establishment until they closed their doors.

The crowd blocked the entrance to the bar chanting “no justice, no peace” and “shut it down.”

You can watch the full video below.

Las night after staff from Bienestar Human Services attempted to celebrate our participation at DTLA proud, we were…

Posted by Khloe Rios-Wyatt on Saturday, August 24, 2019

What do you think about the incident at Las Perlas?

READ: A Model Who Worked For Rihanna’s Fenty Line Tried To Cover Up Her Transphobia By Saying She Was Trans

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More Anti-Trans Bills Have Been Introduced in 2021 Than Any Year in History

Things That Matter

More Anti-Trans Bills Have Been Introduced in 2021 Than Any Year in History

Trans rights are under siege in over half of the United States this year, as 28 states have proposed one or more anti-trans bills. The bills range from banning trans children from playing on sports teams to prohibiting doctors from giving trans youth life-saving care. 

Despite winning the White House and both houses of Congress, we cannot grow complacent. Now is the time for others from the LGBTQ community and allies to stand up and protect our trans brothers and sisters.

At least 28 states have proposed anti-trans legislation that could severely harm the community.

Less than three months into the new year, Republican lawmakers have already introduced a record number of anti-trans bills across the country.

According to a report published Monday by Axios, at least 73 pieces of legislation have already been put forward in state legislatures targeting members of the transgender community. Of those proposals, 65 specifically single out trans youth, such as bills prohibiting the kinds of medical care doctors can offer trans minors and others seeking to limit the participation of trans student athletes in school sports. 

Notable examples include legislative efforts by South Dakota and Mississippi, both of which passed bills in the past week blocking trans girls from competing in school athletics in accordance with their gender identity. After being approved by their respective Houses and Senates, their governors have vowed to sign them.

These would be the first bills of their kind to become law in the U.S. after numerous attempts to pass anti-trans sports bills in previous years. In 2019, a bill targeting trans student athletes failed in the South Dakota House by just one vote.

LGBTQ+ advocates are warning that the influx of this type of legislation will harm trans and nonbinary youth.

Trans advocates and experts argue that bills like this do not protect young trans people, and recent studies support this. In February, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a report which argued that banning the trans community from certain sports programs would deprive an entire group of people of the benefits of athletics, including lower risks of depression, anxiety, and drug use. Despite so many states introducing legislation targeting trans youth in sports, the report also found that the argument of an “unfair advantage” does not actually hold up to data-driven scrutiny.

“This has been a significant part of my work at the ACLU for the past six years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice at the ACLU, told CNN. “There have never been this many bills targeting trans youth voted out of committee and then making it to the floor.”

There is widespread opposition to anti-trans bills, and not just from LGBTQ+ civil rights groups. More than 55 major corporations have endorsed a statement against these bills and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in general; they include Facebook, Pfizer, Microsoft, AT&T, Apple, Dell, American Airlines, and many more. Nearly 550 college athletes have signed a letter to the National Collegiate Athletic Association demanding that championship games be pulled from states that have anti-trans sports laws or are close to enacting them. More than 1,000 child welfare groups have taken a stand against legislation that would keep trans youth out of school sports or deny them health care.

States that enact anti-LGBTQ+ legislation often experience boycotts, as was the case with North Carolina and its anti-trans “bathroom bill” in 2016 and Indiana with its discriminatory religious freedom law in 2015. The former has now been repealed, the latter amended.

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Turns Out The First Owner Of Beverly Hills Was An Impressive Afro-Mexican Woman

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Turns Out The First Owner Of Beverly Hills Was An Impressive Afro-Mexican Woman

Beverly Hills, one of the most well-known destinations in the country and world has long been a thriving and prime area for real-estate. Long before it was colonized by the Spanish, and was largely populated by rich white elites, the Indigenous people of California known as the Tongva, thrived there.

Hundreds of years later, in the 1830s, when the area was colonized, Maria Rita Valdez Villa, the granddaughter of Spanish colonists Luis and Maria Quintero and the great-granddaughter of an African slave was granted the original 4,500-acre of Beverly Hills, then known as El Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas.

Yes, as it turns out the foremother of Beverly Hills was a Black Latina!

During her ownership, Maria Rita oversaw cattle ranching and farming.

According to LA Magazine, Rita “was well known for holding a yearly celebratory rodeo under a famous eucalyptus tree at what is now Pico and Robertson boulevards.”

Sadly, after working the land for so much time, three Indigenous Californian outlaws attacked the ranch in 1852. The attack led to a shootout amongst “a grove of walnut trees at what is now Benedict Canyon and Chevy Chase drives” and eventually in 1854 Maria Rita decided to sell the area to investors Henry Hancock and Benjamin D. Wilson for $4,000.

Perhaps there’s a chance for justice for Maria Rita in the end.

Recently, Los Angeles County officials revealed that they were contemplating returning a beachfront property that was seized from a Black family nearly a century ago.

According to the Guardian, Manhattan Beach used “eminent domain” in 1924 to force Willa and Charles Bruce, the city’s first Black landowners, of the land where they lived. “The Bruces also ran a resort for Black families during a time when beaches in the strand were segregated,” explained the Guardian in a recent report. “Part of the land was developed into a city park. It is now owned by Los Angeles county and houses lifeguard headquarters and a training center.”

Manhattan Beach county Supervisor Janice Hahn announced that she was looking into ways to restore justice for Bruce family. Options include delivering the land back to the family, paying for losses, or potentially leasing the property from them

“I wanted the county of Los Angeles to be a part of righting this terrible wrong,” Hahn explained in a recent interview with KABC-TV.

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