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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

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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Filed under: Nevada

16 more reader comments:

  1. Sigh…

    Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:08pm
  2. The definition of “Cosmopolitan”. “free from local, provincial, or national ideas, prejudices, or attachments; at home all over the world.” Irony much?

    Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:11pm
  3. Yeah, you regret it now that people’ve found out about it.

    Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:12pm
  4. They should do a hellova lot more than just apologize!

    Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:12pm
  5. “It’s a little too late to do the right thing now”- Tanya Tucker

    Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:15pm
  6. They regret it cuz now they dont see the money $.$

    Next time think bout it twice or three x before making a decision where you’re taking a risk in losing customers..

    Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:17pm
  7. That is why I stay at the Tropicana!

    Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:19pm
  8. The fact that this happened in Vegas… is just weird. Jerks.

    Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:27pm
  9. my heart goes out to stephanie. I hope she never has to feel that type of embarrassment again

    Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:30pm
  10. I agree Lorrie. Totally flippin wierd that this happened in Las Vegas. I mean if they are going to have problems in Las Vegas, then America is completly screwed…because they will never get over their stupid idiotic view of, oh my gosh, their different? How dare they not be ‘normal’. Which in Las Vegas what is normal? lol

    Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:39pm
  11. This place will never, ever get any type of business from me or my friends. Simply disgusting.

    Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:39pm
  12. ‎” She calls the hotel’s apology, nothing more than disaster control” I agree. Any business that would treat ANY human being like that…well I want nothing to do with them….ever. What a cruel, disgusting way to treat her. Shame on them. I hope this story goes around the internet for so long that it causes them to suffer huge loses. There are lots of other great places to go in Las Vegas, where people are treated with kindness.

    Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9:56pm
  13. I see all the bashing of this place, but it’s funny how far this country has fallen. Free speech works BOTH ways, ladies and gentlemen. You see all those signs that say “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, regardless of reason” Someone actually uses one, and yall get your panties in a bunch. Your right, this is a quick apology so they dont lose money, and they were in their complete 1st amendment rights to remove her from the building.

    Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 at 12:40am
  14. @ Lorrie & Breyana- I live in Vegas and I’m not at all surprised by this. Few people know it but Vegas is actually a severely conservative Mormon based town. They have refused a Spencers store the renewal on their mall lease because the store was “inappropriate”. What I am surprised by is that this has not come under fire with the new anti-discrimination laws that Nevada passed making discrimination based on gender identity in hotels, restaurants, etc illegal.

    Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 at 2:20am
  15. @ Lorrie & Breyana- I live in Vegas and I’m not at all surprised by this. Few people know it but Vegas is actually a severely conservative Mormon based town. They have refused a Spencers store the renewal on their mall lease because the store was “inappropriate”. What I am surprised by is that this has not come under fire with the new anti-discrimination laws that Nevada passed making discrimination based on gender identity in hotels, restaurants, etc illegal.

    Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 at 2:21am
  16. “Your right, this is a quick apology so they dont lose money, and they were in their complete 1st amendment rights to remove her from the building.”

    Perfectly true.

    And we’re within our 1st amendment rights to not only never patronise this establishment, but to picket it, reccomend that conferences and conventions from organisations of which we’re members to strike it off their lists, and to refuse to do business with anyone that provides them with goods, services or custom.

    As you said, Free Speech works both ways.

    An apology plus some restitution would be necessary, not just “we’re sorry…. we got caught”.

    Posted on Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 8:43am