Ari Gold | Discrimination | News | Transportation

Singer Ari Gold Told to Move to Back of 'Shortline' Bus for Holding Hands with Man


Singer Ari Gold told the Village Voice's Michael Musto that a Shortline bus driver instructed him to move to the back of the bus for holding hands with another man because it was "making him uncomfortable".

Shortline "The driver told us if we wanted to continue sitting together, we had to sit in the back."

The driver apparently called for a state trooper who saw nothing wrong with what Gold and his hand-holding friend were doing.

Gold made an announcement to the other passengers, explaining that they had been pulled over to wait for the state trooper because he was holding hands with a man.

Gold said he will be filing charges, but writes this update on his Facebook page

"Haven't reached anyone from Shortline yet-I'll call Lamda Legal to see if there's any action to take or at least make sure Shortline gives better employee training. I stood up to the driver despite my racing heart, I can only imagine what that might have done to someone who couldn't."

UPDATE: A reader received the following statement from Shortline regarding the incident.

To All: Please see the below response to Mr. Musto of the Village Voice from our President, George Grieve.

Mr. Musto: I wanted get back to you regarding the incident on one of the Shortline buses. I happen to be on vacation this week but I saw your e-mail and I wanted to make sure you got a response. I am the president of Hudson Transit Lines, Inc. which is the company known as Shortline. I wanted to assure you and your readers that we do not condone or endorse the actions taken by this one driver. His actions are not representative of the management of our Company. We will continue to investigate this incident until we are sure we have all the facts at which time we will take the appropriate disciplinary and remedial action. We apologize for the insensitive action of our driver and can assure you we will take the necessary steps to make sure this does not happen again.

George Grieve / President / Hudson Transit Lines, Inc.

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  1. Lambda will probably just tell him to file a complaint with the state human rights department, since sexual orientation discrimination is illegal in New York. Here's where you report it:

    Posted by: Chris | Jul 12, 2011 10:50:49 AM

  2. Homophobes are LITERALLY trying to put us in the back of the bus!

    We keep talking figuratively, but now we have an example of how literal their desire is to put us in the back of the bus, back in the closet and out of sight.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jul 12, 2011 10:54:25 AM

  3. Of course if he'd been trans, the driver's actions would have been quite legal. Trans were deliberately excluded from the SONDA bill that gave Gays protections back in 2002, with the promise that they'd be come back for later.

    But other matters have been deemed more important. Marriage equality in NY. Repeal of DADT (while still compelling TS people to be discharged). Repealing DOMA. etc etc. Having Gays in the St Patrrick's Day parade. *Important* stuff.

    Posted by: Zoe Brain | Jul 12, 2011 10:58:06 AM

  4. Good for him! Stand up for your rights!

    Posted by: Jack M | Jul 12, 2011 10:58:29 AM

  5. It's not clear that this happened in NY State, or where in NY State it happened. You have readers from all over the country and the world.

    Posted by: Chris Gable | Jul 12, 2011 11:05:35 AM

  6. I wonder if there was a breeders-only water fountain around.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Jul 12, 2011 11:05:44 AM

  7. "Here's where you report it:"

    Unless you're trying to sell CDs and desperately need some free publicity from Towleroad. This has stunt written all over it.

    Posted by: Skeptical | Jul 12, 2011 11:08:22 AM

  8. Zoe: Those other things you mentioned were more important.

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 12, 2011 11:09:50 AM

  9. If you'd like to email SHortline:

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 12, 2011 11:17:30 AM

  10. Maybe that a**hole busdriver wanted to you sit next to Rosa Parks?

    Now that would have been an honor!

    Otherwise CONGRATS on standing your ground!

    Whenever we do some where we STAND UP for EQUALITY we become a part of LGBT history.

    Posted by: louis | Jul 12, 2011 11:21:53 AM

  11. I called in to Short Line expressing my grave concern with this situation and received a borderline HOSTILE response.

    At least two employees did not understand why I took offense or have concern with the actions of their driver.

    They claim the situation "has been addressed" and hung up abruptly on me.

    Very, very unfortunate.

    Feel free to call 800-631-8405 or email:

    Posted by: Jason | Jul 12, 2011 11:32:01 AM

  12. "Zoe: Those other things you mentioned were more important."

    Yeah, until you run up against a bigot who considers both Gays and Transgender folk to be "faggots & dykes." Probably bigots like that bus driver.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 12, 2011 11:35:06 AM

  13. @Louis, indeed very sad part of history comes to mind. Part I thought was over already.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jul 12, 2011 11:39:15 AM

  14. LITERALLY being told to move to the back of the bus or get off. I know a lot of people get uncomfortable with the civil rights fight for blacks and gays, but how ironic can it be, and how unfortunate in 2011 that something like this continues to happen.

    At least the state trooper stepped in and can corroborate the story and supported Ari as did the other passengers. This is just another reminder that as we continue to become more open and gain more overall acceptance, that there are and always will be homophobes who simply cannot handle our existences and seek to closet and shun us at every opportunity. Now more than ever we have to be strong and stand up for our humanity.

    Posted by: Francis | Jul 12, 2011 11:42:11 AM

  15. One word for Ari "SUE".Thats the only language they understand!

    Posted by: joe | Jul 12, 2011 11:44:13 AM

  16. Thanks for the update, Jason. Well, I guess a lawsuit and demonstration outside of their offices will be their indicator that this situation has not been addressed.

    Posted by: Francis | Jul 12, 2011 11:45:52 AM

  17. Thinking about it, the most outrageous aspect is the fact the bus driver actually called a state trooper. He brought the police into the situation. People like this actually believe that homosexuality is an offense, they actually think they have grounds to harass and discriminate against gay people..........just because we're gay. That's the scary part. The complete lack of humanity these bigots have towards our existence, combined with the self-entitlement these people feel in doing and saying whatever they want against us. It's really a shame.

    Posted by: Francis | Jul 12, 2011 11:55:53 AM

  18. It would be great if Ari would consider asking the bus company and the driver to attend a mediation session. It would be a way of making a negative situation into a positive where everyone learns something from everyone. I am betting the National Association for Community Mediation would be happy to help try and set it up. They can be found at

    Posted by: Joe Brummer | Jul 12, 2011 11:56:51 AM

  19. Well, I certainly hope it happened in a state like NY, because if it was in Pennsylvania or Michigan, he'd be SOL from a legal standpoint.

    @Zoe: I agree that it's terrible there have scoffing when a gay or lesbian person is oppressed just makes you look hateful.

    Posted by: Bruno | Jul 12, 2011 12:20:52 PM

  20. I inadvertently deleted a few words..."I agree that it's terrible that there have been no trans protections enacted in NY, but"

    Posted by: Bruno | Jul 12, 2011 12:22:22 PM

  21. Short Line is owned by CoachUSA. CoachUSA is anything but. It is, in fact, owned by
    Stagecoach Group plc (LSE: SGC), an international transport group operating buses, trains, trams, express coaches and ferries. The group was founded in 1980 by the current chairman, Sir Brian Souter, his sister, Ann Gloag, and her former husband Robin. The group is based in Perth, Scotland, and has operations in the United Kingdom and North America.

    Souter and Gloag are both born-again Christians and donate to so-called humanitarian charities which are Christian based. They are virulently anti-gay and donated much time and money in 2000 to a group called "Keep the Clause (28)" which forbade local councils from doing anything to promote homosexuality. They are also known for union-busting and for just being jerks.

    Posted by: JoyZeeBoy | Jul 12, 2011 12:31:39 PM

  22. He'll have to sue. Apparently no one seems to care enough about it to do anything it sounds like. That's kinda what happened with the Civil Rights Movement. Blacks were constantly being degraded and abused and people did nothing. Now ironically Blacks were responsible for a good chunk of the Prop 8 vote passing.

    Posted by: Tyler | Jul 12, 2011 1:18:52 PM

  23. Thanks Joyzeeboy...that was USEFUL.

    Posted by: uffda | Jul 12, 2011 1:25:04 PM

  24. @Tyler can we stop with spreading Prop 8 myths about African Americans. Independent analysis shows that it was more a generational and religiosity issue than a racial one.

    Posted by: SeaWally | Jul 12, 2011 2:22:54 PM

  25. Yes, Joyzeeboy, thank you, puts everything into perspective. Definitely shouldn't be expecting any sort of response from this Christian run organization, unless forced. And that's where we come in.

    Posted by: Francis | Jul 12, 2011 2:25:04 PM

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