A queer couple’s date night ended horribly after a security guard tried to kick one of them out because she used the women’s restroom.
Author Jessica Walton and her wife, Charlie, decided to hit their local Strike bowling alley in Australia to celebrate their birthdays.
It was a much needed night out for the pair who left the kids at home and decided to enjoy themselves.
But the night took a turn for the worst right before the women left. After bowling for a couple of hours the pair needed to use the restroom before leaving.
For Charlie, using public restrooms is always a stressful time because people are constantly trying to ‘police gender’.
‘It’s not a fun place for my partner because people often stare or comment on her presence and appearance. They feel entitled to police gender in bathroom environments. It’s weird and awful,’ wrote on Twitter.
But on her way back to Walton a security guard ‘stopped her and aggressively told her to leave the premises’. He told Charlie to leave the Strike bowling venue because she had used the women’s toilets.
‘The guard said if she didn’t leave the premises she would be removed forcibly. He called for a second guard. My partner was so scared. Imagine two guards approaching you to throw you out for going to the toilet! I am shaking with rage as I type,
@StrikeBowling,’ Walton wrote.
Tonight my wife was threatened & discriminated against by an Executive Security Solutions guard at @StrikeBowling QV. She was told she was going to be forcibly removed from the premises for using the women’s toilet. We were celebrating our birthdays on a rare kid free date. pic.twitter.com/IVH01C4cXJ
— Jessica Walton (@JessHealyWalton) October 20, 2018
When the second guard approached, Charlie, decided to remain calm.
‘She reached out her hand and said, “hi, my name is Charlotte”. The guards turned to each other and a look passed between them. They decided to let her leave,’ Walton wrote.
Once Walton found what had happened, she demanded to speak to the manager. The manager apologized and forced the security to apologize.
But the women weren’t entirely satisfied with his ‘fauxpology’. While LGBTI staff were very nice to the couple, Walton said all staff should treat LGBTI people with respect.
‘It shouldn’t fall on LGBTIQA staff to make LGBTIQA customers feel safe and welcome. I want someone from both companies to apologise in writing to my wife and assure her that steps are being taken to organise LGBTIQA awareness training so this doesn’t happen again,’ she wrote.
Gay Star News approached the couple for comment, but they said they were too distraught to comment.
But Walton did say that the company that runs Strike, Funlab, reached out to the women. Funlab emailed the women to not only apologize for what happened but to promise it is implementing changes to make sure it didn’t happen again.
While the two women remain distressed, they felt heartened by the outpouring of support from the community after Walton’s Twitter thread about the incident got a lot of attention.