West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico issued a statement today condemning the forceful ejection of two transgender women and a gay man from the Las Perlas bar and restaurant in downtown Los Angeles that is said to be considering opening a location in West Hollywood.
“The City of West Hollywood has been made aware of an incident being investigated as a possible hate crime against members of the transgender community this past weekend at Las Perlas, a downtown Los Angeles restaurant,” D’Amico said. “The images in a video of the event posted online are alarming. My colleagues on the West Hollywood City Council and I have communicated with the City Manager and the City’s Economic Development Department about community concerns considering that Las Perlas is reportedly eyeing a location within the City of West Hollywood.
“ Currently, there are no official applications for a West Hollywood Las Perlas location. However, city staff has reached out to the restaurant’s management group to learn of future plans to expand to West Hollywood. While the city cannot stop a legal business from opening within its boundaries, we are renowned for our support of the transgender community and our commitment to diversity, acceptance, and inclusion. Opening a business in West Hollywood is one thing; gaining acceptance from the community is quite another.”
The incident happened as Bienestar Human Services, the Latino LGBTQ social services organization, was celebrating its participation in this past weekend’s DTLA Proud LGBT Pride festival. According to people on the scene, a couple at the bar shouted slurs at them, calling them “faggots” and saying to the transgender women “You are all dudes.”
The video posted on an earlier story on WEHOville and visible here, shows security staff forcibly removing the transgender women from the bar Reportedly a biological woman and a man who were slurring the transgender women were escorted out without any force.
The Los Angeles Police Department has filed a report calling the forcible removal a hate crime.
The owner of Las Perlas posted an apology for the incident on its Facebook page and said it was considering engaging another private security staff and conducting sensitivity training.