Things That Matter

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.

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 Bienestar 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

Julissa Calderon And Annie Gonzalez On How ‘Gentefied’ Is Offering Empowerment And Representation In This New TV Era

Entertainment

Julissa Calderon And Annie Gonzalez On How ‘Gentefied’ Is Offering Empowerment And Representation In This New TV Era

gentefied / Instagram

Netflix’s show “Gentefied” is finally out and we all get to see the love story written to the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights. The show is complete with discussions of the complexities of gentrification, bilingual jokes, and a cast that is the embodiment of #RepresentationMatters. 

The show centers around the Morales family’s taco shop made up of patriarch “Pop” (played by Joaquín Cosío) and his grandchildren Erik (played by JJ Soria), Ana (played by Karrie Martin) and Chris (played by Carlos Santos). It is set in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights, an area with a population makeup of 94 percent Latinos, a median age under 25, and where the average income is under $34,000, according to a Los Angeles Times profile.

In “Gentefied,” the Morales family is trying to save their weathering taco shop Mama Fina’s Tacos from being eaten up by the interests of corporate real estate developers and Westside yuppies. In order to keep Pop from closing the doors, Erik, Ana, and Chris try their hand at making fusion tacos or encouraging the children of patrons to read more books in exchange for free tacos. 

Ana’s strong activist girlfriend Yessika (played by Julissa Calderon), and Erik’s baby mama and first love professor and podcast host Lidia (played by Annie Gonzalez) make up the rest of the circle.

Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

The type of support Lidia gives to Erik is a kind of #BrownLove we are all here for. We are also excited to see queer Afro-Latinas represented in a show about the importance of embracing everyone’s Latinidad.

Calderon and Gonzalez are just as impassioned off-screen as their characters are on-screen when it comes to issues affecting Latinos.

Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

“Gentefied” encourages its viewers to love who you want, no matter what las chismosas de la vecindad say.

Mitú recently chatted with Calderon and Gonzalez at the Netflix Los Angeles office to talk more about how gentrification has affected them personally and what messages do they want to extend to audiences members as characters Yessika and Lidia. 

“I think that’s what this show is doing, it’s just creating space for a group of people who never felt seen or heard, and we are so honored and humbled to be part of a project like this,” Gonzalez said about what Gentefied means to her.  

The show’s characters portray the push and pull that gentrification can cause.

Oftentimes it is at the expense of minorities who are already struggling to pay rental prices. We have seen this happen in communities across the nation with Boyle Heights currently in that fight.

“Gentrification, it affects the minorities. Even though you look at statistics, and we are the majority as far as population is concerned (we make up a large population), we’re still the minority when it comes to politics, and anybody else that has the say on how things are ran. 

I’m born and raised in East LA, so I’ve seen first hand how gentrification has affected the people in my community, my family members,” Gonzalez said.

The writers of “Gentefied” are able to have such a high level of authenticity because its cast and crew have lived these changes themselves.  

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Just a lil primo love. 😅

A post shared by Gentefied (@gentefied) on

Gonzalez said her own grandmother had to move east to Ontario, Calif., to find affordable housing. Calderon said the Carol City area of greater Miami she knew growing up has completely transformed with different developments, pushing out flea market shop owners and going as far as to re-brand itself as Miami Gardens (now home to the Hard Rock Stadium.) 

“And yes, this story is in East LA, but this is resonating with so many different neighborhoods all around the country,” Calderon added. 

Calderon then shared a story of her grandmother’s Washington Heights neighborhood in New York which is now crawling with hipsters, a change she was taken a bit aback by.

“Before, no one would even walk in those neighborhoods, so it’s definitely interesting to see the turn of events, and unfortunately it’s affecting people of color—always,” Calderon stated. 

Although these gentrification changes are affecting people of color disproportionately, the show portrays a sense of hope and proactiveness by its characters to not only save the cultural roots of their neighborhood but to also help open the minds of the older generation who are grappling with their sense of a changing world. 

Calderon’s Yessika character proudly displays her Afro-Latinidad and lesbian love affair to the world while fighting back.

Yessika shows #BlackGirlMagic is sparkling in the streets of Boyle Heights. 

“I think my character has two messages—one is that she is a Black girl who speaks Spanish and she is proud of it. She owns the skin she’s in. She owns this curly ‘fro that she has. She knows where she comes from,” Calderon exclaimed. She continued, “my character is just not a sell-out. She stands for what she believes in and she doesn’t care if she’s going against everyone else. She’s aware of what’s at stake and she’s aware of what’s important, and she’s for the people.”

Calderon has embraced her full Afro-Latindad through Yessika and is ready to see the impact that representation will have for the next generation. 

“I just want these little girls in these neighborhoods to be like, ‘OMG! That’s me!’ I can see that, because I don’t recall seeing that as a child on TV. The novelas we used to see, everybody was very white-washed, blue eyes, blonde hair—that was the go-to market. We’re changing that sh*t.”

Gonzalez wants her character to convey a clear message of empowerment while attaining your wildest dreams. 

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Spread the chisme…we’re coming.

A post shared by Gentefied (@gentefied) on

Lidia proves you can do it all (and do it in your style of hoop earrings and turban headband!) 

“Lidia, she’s strong, confident, educated, born and raised in the ‘hood, [who] doesn’t need to code-switch to convey her intelligence. She’s empowering the Latinidad to get an education, but not to abandon their roots, thinking that her community is worth pouring into,” Gonzalez had to say about her character.  

Gonzalez added the show’s characters can resonate with audiences because each person knows someone like these characters. She said the example of the love story between Erik and Lidia, in which they each allowed each other to be equally sensitive and powerful, allowed her to find healing within herself.

“I found so much healing through Erik and Lidia’s story via my parent’s severed relationship. I felt I was able to make the ending they weren’t able to have,” Gonzalez shared in the interview. 

The show’s creators, Linda Yvette Chavez and Marvin Lemus knew that these types of stories would resonate because it’s their stories.

It’s a side of America that is finally being shown but was always there. 

The cast and storylines of “Gentefied” prove that the Greater Los Angeles area (and all neighborhoods in general) need to learn that pockets of working-class neighborhoods ARE worth pouring into and exploring—because the small businesses, the parks, the art, the people—they all have value. Having a supermercado instead of a Whole Foods grocery store does not make the history or culture of a city any less important.

READ: Netflix Finally Released The ‘Gentefied’ Trailer And The Show Looks Like An Instant Hit

Netflix Finally Released The ‘Gentefied’ Trailer And The Show Looks Like An Instant Hit

Entertainment

Netflix Finally Released The ‘Gentefied’ Trailer And The Show Looks Like An Instant Hit

netflix / YouTube

We have been waiting for a look at “Gentefied” since we first heard that the project was in the works. Now, after so much waiting, we finally know what the show we’ve been waiting for is going to look like. Here is the trailer for the upcoming and highly anticipated “Gentefied.”

The trailer for “Gentefied” is here and it looks like one of the most authentic representations of East LA life.

It all centers around a family-owned restaurant in Boyle Heights. Like most people in Boyle Heights, the restaurant is in jeopardy because of the rising scourge of gentrification. To fight back, a community unites to push back against the rising threat of gentrification.

A lot of people are excited but many are still concerned that Netflix will cancel the show like “One Day At A Time.”

Credit: @_dracarys96 / Twitter

Who can forget the day Netflix announced that they were cutting a very culturally relevant and beloved show? The growing outcry from fans around the world eventually led to “One Day At A Time” being saved by Pop TV. Thankfully there was one network that understood the importance of the show.

Legit, people are really concerned that Netflix will give us a little bit of representation only to take it away again.

Credit: @HillsideThots / Twitter

It’s hard to trust people in this world, especially when they have proven they will take beloved things away. We still aren’t over the sudden and never-fully-explained cancelation of “One Day At A Time.” They literally left Lydia stranded in Cuba…

Yet, people are still here to support the show because representation matters and we need more of it.

Credit: @Jasons_phuckery / Twitter

Our community is often overlooked by Hollywood. In fact, studies about Latino representation in front of and behind the camera shows an overwhelming underrepresentation of our community. “Gentefied” is bringing a clearer look into our community and a fight to protect the community against rampant gentrification.

Check out “Gentefied” coming to a Netflix account near you Feb. 21.

Make sure you have your friends log in information up to date so you don’t miss this.

READ: “Gente-Fied” Tackles Gentrification In Boyle Heights With Jokes (And Some Awkward Gringos)