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Transgender woman says she was harassed, kicked out over bathroom use at D.C. restaurant

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A transgender woman said she was discriminated against at a Northwest Washington restaurant and bar Friday night as she tried to use the women’s restroom and was asked for identification to prove her gender.

Charlotte Clymer took to Twitter to describe what happened as she and friends were celebrating a bachelorette party at Cuba Libre. The tweets about the alleged discrimination went viral.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser responded to Clymer on Twitter and said, “I’m so sorry this happened to you. While I’m glad to hear that @DCPoliceDept were there to represent our true #DCValues, we won’t accept this type of discrimination in Washington, DC. It’s not just illegal, it’s against what we stand for.”

Clymer said she was having a great time at Cuba Libre until she tried to use the restroom. Clymer is a transgender woman and said she and a friend walked to the ladies’ room around midnight.

“The attendant asked me to see my ID. He didn’t ask anybody else. And when I asked why, they said it’s because I have to have ‘female’ on my ID in order to access the restroom. That’s wrong, first of all, and second of all I’m not going to show my ID to use the restroom,” Clymer said.

She went in anyway and she said that when she said the male attendant walked in and looked around for her. After washing her hands, Clymer said the attendant and manager were waiting outside the restroom and told her it was DC law that a person must only use the restroom that matches with the gender on their identification card.

She walked outside to look up the law on her cell phone to show the manager.

“Went back inside, went straight to him and asked him to read it. He did and said, ‘That’s incorrect and I still don’t think you’re allowed to use the restroom.’ I gave him one more chance, I said, ‘I work for the Human Rights Campaign. I need you to make a course correction right now because this is about to get very bad. And you need to understand the way the laws work in DC in regards to the LGBTQ community,’” she said.

After a back and forth, the manager threatened to call the police but never did and eventually kicked Clymer out. She called police instead and said police told her she was in the right.

Still, she said the manager did not apologize.

“He humiliated me. Intentionally,” Clymer said.

Cuba Libre did release a statement on Twitter that said, ”Ms. Clymer, We are extremely sorry for the incident that occurred at our restaurant last night. As a rule, we support safe bathrooms and welcome guests of all gender identifications. Clearly our staff did not do so last night and treated you in an unacceptable manner. We are immediately retraining our entire staff to ensure this does not happen again.

“It is particularly disappointing that this has occurred during Pride month when we’re undertaking efforts & events to support the LGBTQ community.

“Our CEO has reached out to you through a friend of a member of your party from last night. He provided his cell phone number and hopes to speak with you personally today.

“We would appreciate your response at your first convenience.”

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