VIDEO: Trans Women And Queer Men Thrown Out Of Las Perlas Bar After Patrons Threatened To Kill Them, Now LA Is Boycotting
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What do you think about the incident at Las Perlas?