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Las Vegas Hotel Apologizes for Kicking Out Trans Woman


Yesterday I posted about a trans woman who was harassed and then kicked out of the Las Vegas Cosmopolitan Hotel for using the women's restroom.

The Cosmopolitan has issued an apology and statement about the ugly incident, Las Vegas Weekly reports:

“The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is committed to maintaining a community that recognizes and values the inherent dignity of every person, by fostering sensitivity, understanding and mutual respect of our guests and employees.

“We sincerely regret any misunderstanding or inappropriate actions that any member of our staff may have taken. And to ensure increased sensitivity within this area, the organization will focus on continued training and on-going awareness initiatives. In addition, we apologize to the individual guest and welcome her back to the resort anytime.”

Additionally, the hotel stated, “We would like to apologize to the LGBT community and anyone concerned and hope to demonstrate our firm dedication to fair and unbiased treatment of all.”

Las Vegas Hotel Bans Trans Woman for Life for Using Bathroom [tr]

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  1. Attorney written glop that is more focussed on protecting themselves than on addressing the reprehensible treatment of an innocent human who has the right to expect courtesy and respect. This member of the LGBT community isn't buying any of their dribble and also will not be buying any of their product.

    Posted by: Rob | Apr 28, 2011 9:22:21 AM

  2. How nice that they are going to let her back into their hotel to spend her money. What I didn't hear was what they were offering her to try to make up for the humiliation and abuse that she endured at their hands. Not so much as a free night's stay or a drink at the bar. What this "apology" is really saying is, "We're sorry that this has been made public and it might hurt our reputation, and therefore our business, so you can come back if you really want to but we're sure as hell not going to do anything to encourage you to. See gay community, we are still tolerant of you people. Please come and spend your money at our hotel. Thanx."

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Apr 28, 2011 9:29:54 AM

  3. This is a good start, but this is it? Sorry we humiliated you -- come back any time? Couldn't they actually compensate her in some way, with a free weekend, even a free drink -- anything? Was there no internal action taken? Does the hotel really think they can behave the exact opposite of the way they're supposed to and not pay for it in some way? What's stopping them from doing it again?

    Knowing that this is the best any guest who was thrown out on the street and banned for life for no sane reason can expect as an apology, I still don't feel the least bit welcome there.

    Posted by: justme | Apr 28, 2011 9:31:49 AM

  4. Boycott the Las Vegas Cosmopolitan Hotel.

    Posted by: CRISPY | Apr 28, 2011 9:38:27 AM

  5. Fire the security guy first of all

    Posted by: Mark | Apr 28, 2011 9:41:03 AM

  6. Its good that they are apologising, but if they wanted to fix this there should have been mention that they intended to make this up to the lady in question. They dont have to give details but they certainly should be doing more to erase this incident for her.

    Posted by: Steve | Apr 28, 2011 9:41:12 AM

  7. So typical of professional victim gays unable to accept an apology. You're just as crazy as Orly Taitz.

    Posted by: nodnarb | Apr 28, 2011 9:43:53 AM

  8. Words are pretty cheap, and doesn't change the fact that their initial response was essentially an ad for their stupid hotel.

    Posted by: Joey Y | Apr 28, 2011 9:44:53 AM

  9. An all-expense, paid weekend in the hotel's nicest suite would have been a good start...

    "We're sorry but come back and spend your own money" is completely unacceptable.

    Posted by: jay_max | Apr 28, 2011 9:48:28 AM

  10. In all fairness, I'm not sure the Cosmo would make a compensation offer part of a public statement. That would be a really bad idea for a hospitality venture. I don't know if they will or won't do that privately, but I'm not surprised it would remain private.

    Also, in my personal experience, the Cosmo is not stingy with comps and is not anti-gay. When they found out we were guests for our gay marriage honeymoon, we were comped with plenty of stuff, and were treated marvelously by umpteen staff members.

    Surly, bullying Vegas security guards, though? Oh please, say it's not so! No excuse, but that's where the meanness comes from almost any organization.

    I think the apology is perfectly fine and acceptable for the public. How they go on to deal with their humiliated patron and their rogue employee is something properly done out of the public eye.

    Posted by: Zlick | Apr 28, 2011 10:01:27 AM

  11. How is it proper to secretly compensate someone you've wronged, especially when you're a business open to the public and desperately need the good pr? That makes no sense whatsoever and is exactly the opposite of the way all businesses have ever handled pr fiascos.

    Would you have us believe that all businesses caught abusing their customers in the worst ways possible are secretly bestowing untold riches upon them behind the scenes -- specifically to avoid good press in the moment that they need it? That it's good and proper for this woman to be publicly humiliated but it would be gauche for her to be publicly compensated?

    I'm not stepping foot into any business that doesn't show that they make up for their bigotry -- because until they can show that, they obviously haven't done it!

    Posted by: justme | Apr 28, 2011 10:21:49 AM

  12. Completely self serving. I received this response verbatim to my letter to their PR executive. Pathetic and far short of making it right.

    Posted by: Jed | Apr 28, 2011 10:56:17 AM

  13. I think the response was great. Employees made a mistake and the company apologized. What matters more is that they apologize directly to the person involved.

    I look forward to the company actually doing what they said they would do, "focus on continued training and on-going awareness initiatives."

    Posted by: Fred | Apr 28, 2011 11:34:52 AM

  14. Hmmm...4am, at a bar in Vegas, on a Monday. Sounds like she was "working" and the hotel figured it out and wanted her out. There's 2 sides to every story...

    Posted by: alex | Apr 28, 2011 11:46:48 AM

  15. I'm with ZLICK and FRED on this one. Apologies mean something and we gays (just like everyone else) deserve and expect them when warranted.

    Posted by: David R. | Apr 28, 2011 11:47:51 AM

  16. I think the key here is the admittion of "inappropriate actions" which is only slightly undercut by "may have taken." Too often an "apology" of this sort is "We're sorry you were offended" which shifts the onus of the incident on those offended, practically absolving those offending. The organization recognized an error, publicly apologized for it and is taking action to make sure it doesn't happen again. It would be nice if human beings didn't make mistakes, but as long as it's part of the human condition, it's more important how they make things right than what they did wrong.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Apr 28, 2011 11:58:06 AM

  17. Why must an apology always come with financial compensation? Are humans no longer able to accept apologies without holding their hand out?

    When people apologize to me I never say, "Talk is cheap, what do I get?"I was taught that we are all imperfect creatures and that if I expect others to forgive the crap I do I should be willing to forgive others.

    I am really starting to hate America and our litigious ways of dealing with issues.

    Posted by: Rin | Apr 28, 2011 12:02:53 PM

  18. It just dawned on me that this is the Cosmo hotel with it's 'edgy' out of the box commercial making it seem that they have a more open mind to the alternative lifestyles people lead.
    Funny, in a bad way, that it happened but at least they stepped up and apologized as quickly as they did.

    Posted by: Keith | Apr 28, 2011 12:23:37 PM

  19. JUSTME, please edumacate me with concrete examples of an organization that made their compensation to an individual person a public matter. I've never seen any such thing. That's not to say it's never happened. If you can provide any examples, please do so. But until then, I continue to contend that's simply not the way it's done.

    The way it was done IS the way it's done. I'm sorry if that's not good enough for any of you, but the only one it needs to be good enough for is the patron who suffered that treatment -which, btw, I'm not willing to simply take their word for its severity.

    Posted by: Zlick | Apr 28, 2011 12:35:20 PM

  20. Whatever, this a complete corporate non-apology.
    1. they didn't admit that what they did wrong when a. they assumed that because she was a trans woman she must be a sex worker b.didn't let her use the bathroom of the gender she was presenting c.harassed a guest that they had no problem with her buying a drink but then had a problem with using the bathroom, if they didn't want her in there why take her money?

    2.instead they say there may have been a misunderstanding. no there was an act of transphobia that while not illegal in their state is illegal in many other states and does go against the TAG guideline they agreed to get certified. They did have the understanding that even may gay men have that it's ok to be transphobic and harass trans woman just so long as you pay lip service to rich white gay men.

    3. they have taken no direction action either suspension or firing the security officer in question nor have they had him personally apologize for his behavior. If he was in fact just following their policy then that would the only reason he is not responsible but they certainly do not say that, are they now?

    4. to claim well I as a gay white man was treated great there, so this person must have done something is ridiculous or they aren't transphobic because they like rich white gay men like me is ignorant. I am white, professional looking and male and I sure as heck get treated better because the class, race and gender privileges and assumptions people make and even more so in fact in places like Vegas where everyone is out to make a buck.

    5. what will it take for other gay men to realize that ignoring and not supporting our trans, bisexual and lesbian community member we are screwing ourselves. Remember who fought at stonewall, remember who took care the us doing the epidemic. I don't know need to understand why a trans person is trans to know that just like I deserve equal rights they do too.

    Posted by: Max | Apr 28, 2011 1:36:10 PM

  21. Actually, ALEX, she was in town for a conference. Transpeople are allowed to have drinks at 4 a.m. in Vegas hotels too, you know.

    Posted by: JOE 2 | Apr 28, 2011 3:02:20 PM

  22. I dunno, what will it take - especially for a reader of this blog - to realize that not ever "victim" is telling the truth? I don't have any reason to doubt this particular gal's veracity, but neither am I so gullible as to believe her story simply because she tells it.

    Further, corporate-speak apology IS the kind of apology you get from corporations. What's not to understand about that?

    I'll go further - what's not to understand about the possibility a man in women's clothing alone at a Vegas Strip hotel bar at 4 in the morning may have seemed like a sex worker to hotel security? I'm not saying that's the correct interpretation (and I doubt it was), but it's also not OMG unthinkable! Have you ever BEEN to Las Vegas?

    And yeah, they might have treated me very well because I fit the right demographic of affluent white male, and was also a hotel guest to boot - but the point was, they treated me quite well knowing I was gay - so that didn't "cancel" their policy of good customer service that I experienced throughout my stay at the Cosmo.

    Personally, I think this woman is owed a more concrete apology and a comped weekend of luxury, and I think the security guards need a stern reprimand and perhaps a suspension - but that's only based on what I've read on the internet - not the most reliable of sources - and in any event I would not personally expect to be privy to either of those results.

    Posted by: Zlick | Apr 28, 2011 3:16:35 PM

  23. So, to be fair, let's assume I fully ACCEPT their apology.
    It still remains a fact that there are thousands of hotels that have NOT perpetrated this type of thing and therefore never had to apologize in the first place.
    They will be rewarded with my patronage, whereas Cosmopolitan will not.
    It's not about whether or not we accept their apology. It's now a matter of what all the corporatists / capitalists like to call "letting the marketplace decide".
    I'm the marketplace, and I'M THE DECIDER.

    Posted by: Justin N in OakLawn, Dallas, TX | Apr 28, 2011 5:27:42 PM

  24. @Justin - umm..how do you know that any individual hotel has NOT "perpetrated this type of thing"? All you know is that you haven't heard about it. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of individual indignities that take place for every one we hear about.

    Posted by: Buster | Apr 28, 2011 7:24:16 PM

  25. Haha! Clearly, they received her lawyer's introductory letter.

    This should cost them, say, $250,000 and mandatory sensitivity training for all employees (except the one they'll fire for costing them all this money).

    Posted by: wimsy | Apr 29, 2011 2:23:05 PM

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