UPDATE, Friday at 5:45 pm:
Following Mira Death Glitterhound's report of the transphobia she experienced at last night's One OK Rock show, the Roseland Theater released a statement announcing the termination of the employees involved, as well as the end of the gendered security checkpoint at the venue's entrance. Read their full statement below.
The Roseland Theater embraces the diversity of our community and all people who attend shows at our venue. As seen with recent national events, you don’t always know what is in someone’s heart until they show you. As Maya Angelou taught us, when they do, you need to believe them and act accordingly. As such, we are terminating the staff involved in this incident. We want to offer the most sincere apology to Mira Death Glitterhound and her friends, Jervena and Sterling. The fact they were made to feel uncomfortable in our venue is not acceptable. We thank them for bringing this to our attention so others will need not suffer the same treatment and welcome any advice they may be able to offer us in accommodating transgender and nonbinary patrons.
The metal detectors designated “women” and “men” were in no way intended to pigeon-hole a person but rather meant for the comfort of the customers who would rather be searched by the same sex. As of today we are removing these labels.
We look forward to using this unfortunate and troubling situation as a teachable moment for the entirety of our staff and security. We are very proud of the fact that we serve more diverse crowds than any venue in the Pacific Northwest and we will continue to do so with the safety and care of our patrons as our top priority.
At last night's One OK Rock show at the Roseland Theater, Mira Death Glitterhound—who fronts local glam-punk band Sweeping Exits—says she and two friends had transphobic encounters with the venue's security.
Glitterhound is trans, and her friends Jervena and Sterling are nonbinary. Upon entering the Roseland, she says they were alarmed by the venue's gendered security checkpoint. When Jervena and Sterling decided to go through the men's line, they were misgendered and forced to use the women's entrance. Later, Glitterhound says she tried to enter the women's restroom and was physically blocked by a security guard, who pointed to the men's restroom. When Glitterhound said "Oh, I'm a woman," she says the guard responded, "I don't have time for this. You need to use the men's room."
"I actually forget how many people look at me still and see a man," Glitterhound says. "I spent the rest of the show thinking about this: 'Should I shave my beard? Will it be better after top surgery?' These are the kinds of thoughts that run through a trans person's head on a daily basis. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between what changes I want for me, and what I'm just trying to change so others perceive me as female."
Glitterhound is calling for the Roseland to "change their policy and educate their staff about transgender and queer patrons." The venue hasn't yet responded to the Mercury's request for comment.
Here's Glitterhound's full statement:
The first thing that happened was at the entrance, they had separate gendered security checks marked "men" and "women." Jervena and Sterling are both nonbinary, and were taken aback by the whole thing. They decided to go in the men's entrance, the security person misgendered them, and refused to check them until they went through the women's entrance. This was super stressful for them (and me), but regardless, we went up to the show.
After about 30 minutes I headed towards the women's restroom. I was looking at my phone and didn't notice the security person until I bumped into them, because they were physically blocking my entrance. They didn't say anything, but pointed to the men's room across the bar. I was caught off guard, it had been a long time since anything like this happened to me in Portland.
I said "Oh, I'm a woman."
The security person stood their ground and said "I don't have time for this. You need to use the men's room."
I was really out of practice with this sort of thing. I didn't feel like getting into a confrontation... I left and went to the men's room, then tried to enjoy the rest of the show.
The whole experience took a while to sink in. When I first came out I dealt with a lot of intense harassment, violence, being followed, chased etc... But it's been so long that I actually forget how many people look at me still and see a man. I spent the rest of the show thinking about this: "Should I shave my beard? Will it be better after top surgery?"
These are the kinds of thoughts that run through a trans person's head on a daily basis. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between what changes I want for me, and what I'm just trying to change so others perceive me as female.
Aside from the psychological effects, this is a matter of physical safety. I was dressed extremely flaming queer. I'm small. This was a kiddie J-rock band show, but at a different type of show I might have had an entirely different experience in that bathroom.
The Roseland needs to change their policy and educate their staff about transgender and queer patrons.