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Denver Wrangler Gay Bar Hit with Protest for Discriminating Against Trans People, Drag Queens: VIDEO


The Denver Wrangler gay bar is under fire for a transphobic gender matching ID policy, was hit by a protest on Sunday.

In September, the Denver Post reported that Vita Marzano was turned away from the bar:

According to Marzano, he visited the bar many times prior to this particular altercation and never had a problem. But when he showed up that Saturday night in drag apparel — after a fundraiser event nearby — the bouncer said his ID didn't match his appearance. This, Marzano believes, demonstrated a transphobic policy.

"My picture looked like me just with makeup on, and I didn't have a beard anymore," Marzano said. "Right away, I took off my wig." When he told the bouncer he had been there multiple times before, Marzano was told, "It doesn't matter. Your ID gender must match your gender appearance."

It's an accusation backed up by several people who protested outside the bar on Sunday and air their grievances in a new video. Marzano has since launched a boycott of the establishment.

Watch them speak out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. These is akin having people out of costume at a Halloween party, they just kill the ambience.

    Posted by: Jay | Nov 13, 2013 7:01:39 PM

  2. ..whats the big deal.....so what, they wannna come in...why cant they.......we as gay people need to stick together.....whats the real fear of them bein there?

    Posted by: disgusted American | Nov 13, 2013 7:05:47 PM

  3. Don't really care about the exclusion of drag queens, but the policy is obviously disgusting for discriminating against transgender patrons.

    Posted by: JMC | Nov 13, 2013 7:06:23 PM

  4. I LOVE that he apparently said "gender appearance" - that itself will open up a brilliant and hopefully enlightening discussion about gender-identity, gender-expression, and how both or either are perceived.

    Posted by: werk | Nov 13, 2013 7:07:54 PM

  5. Just to be clear- I was denied because the gender I presented as did not match the gender on my ID. Here is a video of the incident: http://www.denver-wrangler.com/video.html

    Posted by: Vito Marzano | Nov 13, 2013 7:09:04 PM

  6. Surprising considering most gay bars tend to in fact play up the drag and the fabulous rather than actively seek to shy away from it, especially in such a discriminatory manner. Checking this bar's FB page, seems it's a sporty bear-oriented bar and based on what these boycotters are saying, the bar is intentionally trying to play up being a butch bar at the expense of anything, everything they see as feminine. They're stupid for discriminating against their own like this. It's things like this that REALLY rubs me the wrong way when it comes to the hyper-masculine subset of gay men.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Nov 13, 2013 7:20:18 PM

  7. Francis, if that's true then whoever runs that bar needs to get a clue.

    Posted by: Tyler | Nov 13, 2013 7:23:29 PM

  8. Lots of bars in Europe have a strict dress code. Why would you want to go into a leather bar in drag? Nobody there would appreciate you like they would if you went to a more open bar. The leather/bear scene is just as cliqueish as any other group.

    Posted by: DrKRL | Nov 13, 2013 7:24:34 PM

  9. There's two sides to every story, this club/bar is trying to keep a specific clientele, and bouncers have been able to pick and choose who to let into a club forever. I never see anyone protesting outside a club because they were denied entry because they were too old, fat, skinny, poor, short, tall, unattractive, unknown or whatever else.
    Once upon a time, people went to bars that catered to their specific crowd. I have no problem with leather bars that want to keep a specific masculine dress code, just like I don't have a problem with restaurants that require ties, or nightclubs that don't allow sneakers or hats. There's no difference. It's not transphobia it's a marketing plan. There are drag bars in New York, I never see leather daddies protesting demanding to be admitted,

    Posted by: Chris | Nov 13, 2013 7:27:03 PM

  10. I don't know a lot of trans people but I know a few and damn they are a lot of fun. I'd want them in my bar any day. Stop with the preconceived notions of who people are and accept them as they arrive on your door step and you might find a really amazing gift.

    Posted by: Jeff | Nov 13, 2013 7:31:00 PM

  11. I don't get why people discriminate against trans people. I especially can't wrap my mind around how a gay person or any other minority could discriminate against someone else for being a certain way, it's kind of like how when blak people discriminate against gays and when we compare ourselves to the civil rights movement. It just makes no sense to me.

    Posted by: Will | Nov 13, 2013 7:33:42 PM

  12. @Chris_ In some ways I get your point, you should be able to control your clientele but if this was a situation of a straight restaurant not allowing Gay people because they are "a Family" restaurant would that be acceptable. I love this site but sometime I wish there was a true forum to have these discussions.

    Posted by: Rion | Nov 13, 2013 8:07:32 PM

  13. @Chris: It might not be that cut and dry. A bar is a place of public accommodation. If it's in in a jurisdiction with laws against discrimination based on gender identity then the question becomes whether it's a valid ID policy or not.

    Posted by: Daniel | Nov 13, 2013 8:11:07 PM

  14. @Will: I've known a handful of people who are racial minorities who really bristle at the idea of gay civil rights. They're all very orthodox in their religious life and believe--no kidding--that being gay is a lifestyle choice. Because race is genetic it's easy for them to draw a distinction. Funny thing is that they're also firmly against religious discrimination, even though religion is clearly a lifestyle choice. They can't see how internally inconsistent they are.

    Posted by: Daniel | Nov 13, 2013 8:24:21 PM

  15. So now we have to deal with trans issues? No, we do not.

    Posted by: Tiger | Nov 13, 2013 8:27:21 PM

  16. I agree with JMC. Trans people shouldn't be targeted. But guys in drag are just out to make a scene. Have a little common sense before you stage a protest.

    Posted by: Rafael | Nov 13, 2013 8:30:09 PM

  17. This was a very common policy at the gay bars in my city at least thru the 80s. LOl. My friend got turned away one nite but it was funny because he wasn't actually in drag or cross dressing..lol... just his normal flambouyant attire. But more to the point, this place hosted the Drag show. They had nothing against drag queens or femmes, it was just their door policy

    But taking "discrimination" out of the equation, there are actual legal reasons a bar might do this, such as having to make sure minors aren't at the bar. Or then there is crime. Many cities have ordinances about wearing masks.

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Nov 13, 2013 8:40:41 PM

  18. Well, it's ID. You need to match what is presented on your ID. Pretty simple.

    Posted by: Bravo | Nov 13, 2013 9:35:44 PM

  19. I guess I don't see the problem here.

    Posted by: Jerry | Nov 13, 2013 9:41:21 PM

  20. If it's any consolation to the Drag & Trans community, I think the staff at this establishment (with a few exceptions) is generally rude and unfriendly to almost everyone. It's like trying to enjoy your self at a place run by a bunch of moonlighting self-important TSA agents.

    Posted by: David | Nov 13, 2013 9:42:48 PM

  21. I do believe it is a leather/western bar - can the trans people at least have the common decency to let us have our own bars? they have already forced their way into every organization and taken over.

    Posted by: Eric8 | Nov 13, 2013 9:44:55 PM

  22. Yeah it kind of sucks but any sensible bar would say that if your ID picture doesn't match your physical appearance, you aren't getting in the bar. Reckon this is mostly for underage people using fake IDs but I guess it can be turned against drag and transgendered people too.

    Posted by: Sam | Nov 13, 2013 10:02:11 PM

  23. Time to fire the door-man, business can not afford him turning away a paying customer!

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Nov 13, 2013 10:26:55 PM

  24. @Sam_I get what you're saying but there's a difference from trying to sneak in with my Older brother's ID and me dressed in drag. I change my look all the time, long hair, short hair, etc and I've never been questioned.

    Posted by: Rion | Nov 13, 2013 10:35:22 PM

  25. Every bar has an a right to set a dress code for its patrons. Of course a bar, especially a male-oriented bar, can ban men wearing drag or other ridiculous outfits.

    Posted by: DB | Nov 13, 2013 10:39:59 PM

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