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Las Vegas hotel ejects, bans transgender guest; now says it regrets the incident

Thursday, April 28, 2011
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The Cosmopolitan resort in Las Vegas has come under fire from the LGBT community and its allies after a report surfaced on a hospitality blog last week that a transgender guest was banned for life from the hotel and casino — for using an empty women’s restroom.

The guest, identified as a “pre-op” transgender named Stephanie, said upon leaving the women’s room she was escorted from the resort by security guards, told she was trespassing, and that she would be arrested if she didn’t leave. She said she was photographed and told she was banned from ever returning to the hotel.

Since the blog was posted, commenters have flooded the Cosmopolitan’s Facebook page with complaints on the reported incident.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Cosmopolitan officials said they regretted the incident and would “welcome her back to the resort anytime.”

“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,” said to the statement.

“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. Again, 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.”

But Stephanie says that had it been their original response, it would have seemed more sincere. She calls the hotel’s apology, nothing more than disaster control, according to the Las Vegas Weekly.

“The simple fact is that the Cosmopolitan chose not to issue any sort of meaningful reply until such time as there was a huge up swell of anti-Cosmopolitan commentary across the entire social media landscape, until there was almost universal vilification of their behavior, until they received a call from GLAAD, and until they received a call from Community Marketing to revoke their TAG Approval rating, and calls from who knows how many media organizations requesting comment,” she said.

The hotel notes that it is a TAG (“Travel Alternatives Group“) approved report — to obtain that designation, the property is supposed to be LGBT friendly.

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