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Trans siblings claim they were denied restroom access at Coachella 2018

Trans siblings claim they were denied restroom access at Coachella 2018

A shot of Coachella

Two trans siblings denied restroom access at Coachella in 2018 are taking legal action to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Donavion ‘Navi’ Huskey and Taiyande ‘Juice’ Huskey attended the arts and music festival in April 2018.

The pair claim security guards refused them access to gender-specific restrooms.

They said this in a letter earlier this week (26 February) from the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLUF) of Southern California.

‘No one should be treated the way Navi and Juice were at Coachella 2018, either at a future Coachella festival or at any of the other concerts and venues,’ the letter said.

It called for ‘clear, legally sound policies regarding restrooms and other gendered facilities.’

What happened?

Navi, a trans woman, said a security guard stopped her using the women’s toilets on the second evening of the festival.

She recalled no-one complaining about her presence and added the guarded did not offer an explanation why she was barred.

Navi said: ‘The treatment I experienced when trying to access the bathroom at Coachella was so far beyond embarrassing, it left me speechless.

‘It was especially abhorrent at an event purported to promote inclusion, diversity, and authentic expression, especially as it welcomed its first Black woman [Beyoncé] headliner.’

Not a one time incident

Her sibling Juice, who identifies as transmasculine and uses they/them pronouns, had a similar experience the following day.

Juice said a security guard prevented them from accessing the male restrooms, even though no-one complained.

‘The security guard said he would show Juice a gender-neutral restroom.

Coachella offers ‘male, female and all-gender restrooms’ as part of its ‘every one’ policy.

But ‘as soon as Juice was escorted out of the restroom through a back exit, the security guard turned around and left without saying anything more.

‘Which was surprising and hurtful for Juice.’

Juice avoided all on-site restrooms for the remainder of the day.

Coachella accused of transphobia 

However, the ACLU said treatment of the trans siblings is unlawful under California’s Civil Rights Act and Civil Code.

‘It appears that AEG’s and Goldenvoice’s failures to respect the gender identities of their patrons are widespread.

‘The security personnel are either receiving no guidance on this issue or perhaps even being trained to ‘gender police’ patrons in violation of California law.’

They fear LGBTI people will be ‘misled by Coachella’s marketing as a safe place’ only ‘to endure hurtful confrontation and exclusion like our clients and others have.’

However, Coachella organizers called the sibling’s experience ‘intolerable’ and pledged to work with them to improve policy for 2019.

In a statement quoted in the Desert Sun, they said: ‘We are reaching out to invite both Navi and Juice to our offices to help us perfect this program for 2019 for all patrons of any gender identity or expression, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, age or ability.’

‘I still refuse to go’

Last year, supermodel Cara Delevingne refused to go to Coachella because of its anti-LGBTI owner.

‘I still refuse to go to a festival that is owned by someone who is anti-LGBT and pro-gun,’ she explained in her Instagram story.

‘I am allowed to shame that man and the festival and show my appreciation of an artist at the same time.’

See also

Coachella owner is continuing to donate to anti-LGBTI groups

Here’s how celebrities are making Coachella more queer in 2018

Coachella 2019 line-up features list of LGBTI music artists