The Abbey Concedes and Apologizes as a Transgender Employee Claims a Staffer Insulted Trans People

On the eve of the annual LA Pride weekend, The Abbey, one of West Hollywood’s most popular and the nation’s best known gay bars, finds itself in the midst of controversy after a transgender employee who now identifies as male claims he was insulted by his manager, who claimed that “trans women aren’t real women.”

“At my first shift on the job at The Abbey in West Hollywood last night, my supervisor began trying to talk about how ‘trans women aren’t real women’ not knowing that I myself am trans,” said Ezra Michel in a post on Instagram this past Tuesday. “I outed myself immediately an began to defend my community to the best of my ability.  He then asked me what genitals I had and proceeded to defend his point.

Ezra Michael Michel (Instagram)

“I felt so dehumanized and uncomfortable for the rest of my shift last night.  Today I got there early and reported him, but knowing he’s worked there for 25 years, I don’t think he’s going anywhere. I can’t even bare (sic) the thought of having to see that man again, so I decided to quit today. The job hunt continues.”

Michel’s post was shared multiple times and attracted many comments criticizing The Abbey. 

In response, The Abbey posted on Instagram today a statement that reads as follows:

“We are sorry for the mistakes we have made. Hate in any form is not tolerated at The Abbey.  We strive to provide a safe and inclusive space for everyone.  When we found out about this incident, we were equally horrified. We immediately apologized to Ezra. We hoped Ezra would continue working with us but he decided to leave. We took immediate corrective action and the Human Resources team started an investigation with the employee, who was not a manager or supervisor.

“As hard as we try, we are not perfect. Even business and allies with the best of intentions make mistakes.  We hope moments like these are teachable moments for our staff and our community. Transgender people are under attack every day.  In the spirit of Pride, we all need to do our part to help the transgender community fight for equality. We want to apologize to transgender people everywhere. We will do better.


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JMF
Guest
JMF

There are many jerks in the world. This won’t be the last time you encounter one.

Ben Staples
Guest
Ben Staples

Gay men can have the valid opinion that trans men are not real mean and that trans women are not real women. It is an opinion only. The trans who quit and now is suing to get a payout should be ashamed of herself. The world does not revolve around his choices.

Eka Otu
Guest
Eka Otu

So then vocalizing racial intolerance at work is ok too?

Kevin Snowdog
Guest
Kevin Snowdog

The manager was right, so why would they fire him? He is entitled to his opinion. “Trans women” are not real women. They simply arent. People are free to go along with this charade, but you cant change biology.

Eka Otu
Guest
Eka Otu

You’re suggestion that transmen and transwomen are biologically not men or women is erroneous and defies the laws of medical science. Transmen and Transwomen ARE biologically transmen and transwomen. Transgender people have their own biological makeup that account for their trans gender. To be transgender IS biological. You obviously are not stating facts for which u actually hold knowledge. Your opinion is irrelevant, as it opposes what we know of medically proven makeup of transgender individuals.

Dan Rubin
Guest
Dan Rubin

TO THE CITY COUNCIL OF WEST HOLLYWOOD: TAKE NOTICE OF THIS STORY! THE ABBEY DID NOT FIRE THE HORRIBLE SUPERVISOR. Don’t let the Abbey minimize the supervisor’s role in the treatment of employees. If you read carefully the statement from the Abbey in West Hollywood, the ABBEY has problems with its management. They have continuously flaunted their ‘holier than thou’ arrogance and they only repent when it hurts their bottom line. I really hope that the City Council takes notice of this story and takes away their “right to do business license’ in WeHo. We are a community of inclusion… Read more »

Teachable Moment
Guest
Teachable Moment

Oh, please. Their “holier than thou” reputation is why people go there. The trouble is with the “socially awkward” cream that gets upset when they can’t rise to the top. If you don’t feel accepted when you go there, go to another bar where you do feel accepted. It is a business and all any business cares about is your money or they wouldn’t be in business. Spend more money if you want better treatment from a business. That is how it works. If you were once a woman and you become a man, then you should have had years… Read more »

Eka Otu
Guest
Eka Otu

This is rediculous. Trans people shouldnt have to tolerate or accept maltreatment because they “made the decision” to be who they are! Being offended doesnt equate a mistake on the part of the victim. If you call me a ni**er and I’m offended, it deosnt mean I made a mistake being Black, dude. No one should have to search for where they can go to not be mistreated or where they work to not be mistreated. It SHOULD never be the responsibility of victims to figure out how to be less victimized. Why are u putting that back on the… Read more »

Speak Your Truth
Guest
Speak Your Truth

Ridiculous

mark
Guest
mark

Everyone deserves a safe work environment, period. However, the trans community is being set up as a “no go zone” where you can’t discuss alternatives or the pharma push that profits. I almost did the surgery, my doctor refused. I went to therapy and found out what I was really FEARING was my actual gender and what it meant to be male. Both my parents wanted a girl (which I recorded unconsciously in the womb). I later verified this with my parents. Girls got ATTN in my family, not boys. I feared being asked to go to war. I come… Read more »

Joan Henehan
Guest
Joan Henehan

Educate the staff, please! In fact, a course to educate the community would be ideal. Many people are ignorant of the facts and everyone can benefit from knowledge and sensitivity training. The Abbey can lead in the process.

mike m
Guest
mike m

I don’t know all the facts. In some cases, depending on the severity of the situation; employers can terminate an employee. It’s interesting that as a society everyone is judge and jury. What happened to innocent, before proven guilty. I look at this from a different perspective. No one should be treated unfairly or harassed. Every patrons money is as good as the next person. My other thought, when are we going to stop being politically correct and just behave like we have common sense. Time to examine these things. As a Gay man , I was gay bashed in… Read more »

Joan Henehan
Guest
Joan Henehan

Well said, Mike!

Alan Strasburg
Guest
Alan Strasburg

“We took immediate corrective action and the Human Resources team started an investigation with the employee, who was not a manager or supervisor.” Where is the controversy? This is clearly an incomplete story but serves as fodder, nonetheless, for the politics of perpetual outrage, fed by social media frenzy which often gets its facts wrong. Regardless, there’s what appears, so far, to be a misplaced rush to damn and a rush to boycott. Any speculation on the ultimate disposition of the internal HR investigation is just that, speculation. We have bigger fish to fry on a national level than to… Read more »

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest

What was the corrective action they took? It is our business as a community. We have choices as to where to spend our money so we should also know the management style of a business before we support it. If they allow even the minimum of discrimination or harassment, either by management or just an employee they are not worthy of the Communities business. It is apparent that an employee at the Abbey was lead to believe by management that this type of behavior is acceptable. It speaks volumes about the Abbey. It could be that the employee quit on… Read more »

Alan Strasburg
Guest
Alan Strasburg

You might want to check your pronoun usage lest you continue the discrimination inflicted on the trans community. The Abbey issued a strong statement condemning hate and intolerance, acknowledged that a mistake occurred on its watch, and took corrective action. What that action entails is a protected human resources issue and not subject to the type of transparency suggested. For some that might sound like corporate speak in the annals of media posts in which anonymity prevails, but it’s also reality. The Abbey acted with alacrity and without equivocation in its strong public comments. Its internal human resources actions are… Read more »

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest

It’s not enough to apologize. They should make a donation to trans organizations. Any money spent at the Abbey is money which supports discrimination until they make it right

mike m
Guest
mike m

Alan well said. Everyone jumps on the frenzy bandwagon. What it does, it creates hysteria. People rush to judgement. I blame the extreme left. They’re just as bad as the extreme right. A bunch Of Wild , no class troglodytes on the loose.

jjabely
Guest
jjabely

Your corporate-speak is stellar.

Anonymous LA citizen
Guest
Anonymous LA citizen

Sickening. Boycott The Abbey.

weho adjacent
Guest
weho adjacent

Sounds like they didn’t fire the staffer. Yikes.

Joan Henehan
Guest
Joan Henehan

Try to educate the staffer first. It seems that a proper Human Resource process would make room for improvement rather than passing the issue into oblivion by essentially ignoring it.

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest

If the Abbey was sincere in their apology they would fire that employee. By not doing so means it will most likely happen again. Ezra should file a lawsuit. It’s unacceptable for this to happen and all that the Abbey does is apologize is not enough.