River Rising
Credit: River Rising/Facebook

Despite policies protecting transgender people from discrimination, a Canadian trans woman was denied access to the ladies’ restroom at a bar in Alberta, Canada after showing the bouncer her ID.

River Rising is a trans woman and a makeup artist who was in the neighborhood for a friend’s wedding. With a group of friends, she decided to hit up Corona Tavern in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

After the bouncer checked her ID and gave Rising a disrespectful look, he then called her back to ask invasive and completely inappropriate questions about her transition, surgeries, and hormone treatments.

Rising told BuzzFeed Canada that the bouncer then officially banned her from using the restroom aligned with her gender:

“He told me that while I was on the premises, I couldn’t use the women’s washroom.”

Rising talked back to the hateful bouncer: “I told him I hadn’t used a men’s washroom since I was at least 16 years old and I had no intention of starting, and that I would rather pee myself then use a men’s washroom.”

Thinking that he was somehow fixing the situation, the bouncer offered her a male escort to take her into the men’s restroom (???), and another female employee swore that Rising’s appearance in the women’s restroom would make the other patrons uncomfortable (???) and that the manager would have KICKED HER OUT OF THE BAR if he had been present.

Later, Rising found out that the bar had posted a blatantly discriminatory sign, which she posted to FB, along with a narrative of what she had gone through.

That sign is ILLEGAL, by the way.

Bill 7 was passed in Alberta in December, and prevents this exact type of discrimination against trans people in public places.

After Rising helped the story go viral, the bar posted an “apology” on Facebook and mentioned creating a gender neutral bathroom — but not without grossly stirring up paranoia about trans people in restrooms.

And Rising ended up locked out of her Facebook.

Thankfully, Rising won’t stop making public statements about these injustices — which helps to keep discrimination against trans people discussed in the international news. Plus, the bouncer who harassed Rising resigned, and Corona Tavern’s FB page is being swamped with negative reviews.