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Las Vegas Hotel Bans Trans Woman for Life for Using Bathroom


A transgender woman was reportedly "banned for life" from the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas after going there for a drink and using the women's bathroom. 

HotelChatter reports:

Here’s what happened. Stephanie goes to the Cosmo in the early hours of the morning – about 2.30am. She sits down at the Vesper Bar, in the lobby of the hotel, and orders drinks. Her drinks are good, the barman is pleasant, all is well. And then, at 4am, she realizes she needs the bathroom.

She goes, as is her wont, to the women’s restroom, just across from the bar. It’s empty, as you’d expect at 4am on a Monday. Not a single person in there. She powders her nose and exits the restroom, only to be met by two security guards who immediately say “Come with us” and start marching her out of the hotel. As they walk her, they demand to see her ID (to establish her legal gender). It’s in her purse, and she fumbles for it as she’s being forcibly marched through the lobby of the hotel. As she fumbles, one of the men tells her to hurry up. She is scared, and starts apologizing, saying she’s not trying to cause trouble, but it’s hard to walk and look for her ID at the same time.

They march her outside the hotel (the bathroom is near the main entrance) and she finds her ID. One of the guards checks it, establishes that her legal gender is male, and pulls out a yellow form from his pocket and starts writing in her details to the blank spaces. As he does so, he says, “Are you working?” Way to add insult to injury. She doesn’t say “Well as it happens, yes I am working, at the conference, douchebag.” She says no.

There's much more on the incident at HotelChatter...

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  1. appalling and horrifying

    Posted by: Christopher | Apr 27, 2011 12:43:11 PM

  2. I just banned myself from the Cosmo for life. Which is no great loss as it's not as spectacular as they'd like you to believe.

    Posted by: Mark | Apr 27, 2011 12:49:57 PM

  3. And what if she had used the men's bathroom? Banned for two lives?

    Posted by: tc in nyc | Apr 27, 2011 12:55:46 PM

  4. Holy crap, I was just at the Cosmo. It's easily the youngest and hippest hotel on the Strip. It's like a W on steroids. They're dumbasses for running off a large segment of their potential market.

    Posted by: nodnarb | Apr 27, 2011 12:56:24 PM

  5. Appalling incident. But it's the B.S. response to the incident that really speaks wonders. I don't expect this issue to be taken lightly. Action needs to be taken against this hotel.

    And once more, it's another incident of dehumanization of LGBT individuals. We have to continue speaking out and be louder than ever. This s**t has to stop.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 27, 2011 1:09:19 PM

  6. Oh bah, and I love the Cosmo - and was going to make it my usual hotel when in Vegas ... and now I'm going to have to re-think that. Too bad, it's a fantastic and groovy place (not to mention that their 2nd tier suites are designed as virtual sex lairs).

    Posted by: Zlick | Apr 27, 2011 1:14:53 PM

  7. Since when can Vegas afford to turn away paying customers?

    This whole bathroom thing is beyond insane. Haven't people been using opposite-gender identified bathrooms for whatever reason -- the other's one full, too far away, you're going in with a friend, whatever -- forever?

    Why is it now the newest national nightmare when a transgender person is in their correct gender-identified bathroom? And especially when they're alone? And who the hell is watching them go in and caring about it in the first place???

    Posted by: justme | Apr 27, 2011 1:42:06 PM

  8. It's all part of a large widespread attack on the LGBT community at large by anti-gay heterosexists.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 27, 2011 1:47:49 PM

  9. So disheartening... Let your views be known.


    John Unwin, CEO, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

    John Gallagher, Corporate Finance & GTB/Media Relations, Deutsche Bank

    Michele Allison, Head Press Contact/Media Relations, Deutsche Bank

    Glen Fishman, TAG Manager/Projects Director, TAG-Approved

    Virginia Valentine, President, Nevada Resort Association

    Posted by: BOYCOTT | Apr 27, 2011 1:49:04 PM

  10. for an establishment that advertises itself as being 'different' and open-minded, they just put themselves firmly in the narrow-minded corner.... They start to sound like these 'Sandals' breeding farms.

    Posted by: hugo | Apr 27, 2011 2:01:14 PM

  11. Of all the nasty, vindictive, petty, cruel, idiotic inhumanity. Is it really such a crime to use the restroom?

    Posted by: Max | Apr 27, 2011 2:37:30 PM

  12. And they advertise pretty extensively in Out and other gay magazines. They court LGBT business and then *this* happens? Perhaps those magazines should be contacted about accepting any future ads.

    Posted by: Mike | Apr 27, 2011 2:54:44 PM

  13. Well, so much for Cosmo's tagline: Just the right amount of wrong. . .

    Posted by: Austin | Apr 27, 2011 3:01:55 PM

  14. Obviously they shouldn't be considered a TAG hotel. E-mail Glen Fishman, TAG Manager at Glen@CommunityMarketingInc.com to complain and have Cosmo removed.

    Posted by: Matt B | Apr 27, 2011 3:57:22 PM

  15. HORRIBLE! Never spending my money there again. EVER.

    You know when I was there I saw security tell a mildly affectionate couple of young guys to 'move it along'... they WERE kind of standing in a walk way so I dismissed it.... but now....

    Posted by: LilLa | Apr 27, 2011 4:01:50 PM

  16. I had the unfortunate experience of attending a convention that was held at the Cosmo just a few months ago. Highly over-rated hotel, and much of the staff was unfriendly and not well trained in customer service. And now to hear of the outrageous treatment of this woman...just awful!

    Posted by: Landenguy | Apr 27, 2011 4:32:54 PM

  17. This is unfortunate, and it seems like a mixup that will readily be fixed. Even still, the Cosmo is by far the most friendly environment in Las Vegas for the community.

    Posted by: OMNOMNOM | Apr 27, 2011 4:36:40 PM

  18. The answer is easy... boycott the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas.

    Posted by: BRANDON H | Apr 27, 2011 4:39:11 PM

  19. Personally I think there should be multiple unisex bathrooms, but its not cost effective. I don't like having people hear me pee and late at night...I don't like sharing a bathroom.

    Check out the studies on child abductions in bathrooms, it's frightening. Give me a lock on the door and I don't care if it's labeled male or female.

    Posted by: Rin | Apr 27, 2011 4:40:19 PM

  20. What a horrible, horrible story. I went to the hotel's Facebook page thinking that there would be someone who would be idiotic enough to make the "Good for you, Cosmo, get those freaks out of here" comment, but no one has. All the comments are about how shameful and disgusting this incident was. It's pretty heartening to see so much support for Stephanie. The hotel is doing some horrible damage control, and hopefully soon, they'll begin to learn their lesson.

    Posted by: finkles2000 | Apr 27, 2011 4:42:43 PM

  21. Obviously this was handle in very wrong matter- and it does sound like some sort of set up- if this woman was dressed like a female why were the security guards waiting for her to exit the women's bathroom?

    Posted by: jaragon | Apr 27, 2011 6:02:16 PM

  22. They've done some serious apologizing. See their Facebook wall and site.

    Posted by: Dusty | Apr 27, 2011 8:05:51 PM

  23. I am SURE that this was handled improperly. And I am glad to see the Cosmo is stepping up on this.

    However, ANY person who is identified as a prostitute in Vegas will ALWAYS be banned for life from the property. This IS the practice in Las Vegas at ALL casinos. AND they FOCUS on getting rid of any chance of prostituting within their walls.

    There are HUGE amounts of Transexual and Chicks with Dicks who are "working" in Las Vegas. It seems to be a very popular choice amongst the tourists for their entertainment.

    The girl should have NOT agreed that she was " working" even in jest, as this is no joking matter here. I am surprised that she was not also arrested for "working" after her admission. At any other casino the police would have been there in seconds. I know an acquaintance that was caught in a sting by police in the MGM off of a web arrangement and he was also banned for life from the property besides being arrested.

    Off the strip, Las Vegas is NOT gay friendly. Gays are tolerated here, as the town is filled with Catholics and Fundamentalists and run by Mormons. The tolerate the strip for the revenue, and don't like the GLBT community at large, and HATE anything beyond vanilla.

    Posted by: Roger Wilde | Apr 27, 2011 8:35:38 PM

  24. I am a proponent of private bathrooms in general. Public restrooms at night--especially rest areas or large areas are creepy. If we had unisex single bathrooms all would be well.

    My friend's youngest daughter was abducted from the ladies room of the mall bathroom by a man dressed as a woman. They did a lock down and found the child, but the kid didn't talk for months and the story has creeped me out to the point where I will hold it and tell my kids to hold it til we get home or find a unisex single room bathroom that I can lock the door on.

    I can't believe that in a Vegas hotel this was all "hate motivated" since appealing to everyone makes them more money than bigotry.

    Or maybe I'm naive. :(

    Posted by: Rin | Apr 27, 2011 9:34:52 PM

  25. "However, ANY person who is identified as a prostitute in Vegas will ALWAYS be banned for life from the property. This IS the practice in Las Vegas at ALL casinos. AND they FOCUS on getting rid of any chance of prostituting within their walls.

    There are HUGE amounts of Transexual and Chicks with Dicks who are "working" in Las Vegas. It seems to be a very popular choice amongst the tourists for their entertainment."

    As a trans woman I must say that's horribly offensive and transpobic language for this. Thinking that someone is a sex worker just because they're trans is as bad as say all gay men are child molesters.

    You should be ashamed of yourself Roger for blaming the victim and coming up with excuses for the property, which obviously was in the wrong.

    Posted by: missanthrope | Apr 27, 2011 10:07:06 PM

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