People of Northwest Public Radio
Transgender Discrimination Verdict
Fri August 30, 2013
Portland Bar Ordered To Pay Up In Discrimination Case
Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 4:57 pm
The state of Oregon has ordered a Portland bar to pay up in a case that involved alleged discrimination against a group of cross-dressing men. Some in the transgender community say this type of treatment is far from unusual.
The case involved a Portland watering hole known as the P Club, which has since changed its name to the Twilight Annex. The owner phoned members of a cross-dressing group that met there occasionally and told them they weren't welcome to come back.
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries investigated. The club was ordered to pay $400,000 to members of the group. It's the first such payout under a 2007 state law that bans discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation.
Portland transgendered therapist Reid Vanderburgh says such blatant discrimination isn’t that common, but it shows up in other ways.
"Sideways looks when you walk in, slowness of service, being asked for your identification in what seems like a more overt or challenging or mocking kind of way."
Vanderburgh says he thinks things are getting better, thanks in part to the anti-discrimination law. But he says few people seem to know about the law—even those who have been discriminated against.