The folks at the Cosmopolitan better realize they need to snap into major damage control mode right now after Julia Buckley, the Vegas contributor to Conde Nast's HotelChatter.Com blog, wrote a detailed and quite disturbing account of a transgender friend being banned for LIFE from the new resort. (That's the notice, by the way, courtesy of VegasChatter.Com.)
This thing has already boomeranged all over the Web at warp speed, being picked up by The Atlantic, the gay travel mag Passport, the Las Vegas Weekly and several aggregator blogs.
The synposis of the claim is that a transgender woman drinks alone at the Vesper bar until 4 a.m., then goes to pee. Upon emerging from the ladies room, she is strong-armed by some security dudes who ask her for her ID and accuse her of "working." Eventually they drag her out, see her "legal" gender is actually male and tell her never, ever, EVER to return to the Cosmo.
I know that the question of what restroom to use vexes many who grapple with the transgender topic. But ladies' rooms don't have urinals, they have stalls. Everybody gets a private space to do their business, right? And this was in the dead of night anyway.
I'm told the Cosmo PR team is working on a statement. It ought to be better than this one they gave HotelChatter.Com:
TAG is a group that certifies that a place is recommended to GLBT people.
There's good reason, by the way, to believe the transgender woman's account, even if odds are good there were some other circumstances that have yet to come to light. For one thing, a source of mine at Cosmo tells me that they've been told to redirect inquiries to PR. But the source also told me this:
Huh. I've been in the Cosmo a gazillion times and I've got absolutely no idea where those private/family restrooms might be. They certainly aren't as obvious and and ubiquitous as the normal restrooms are. Also, that explains being BANNED FOR LIFE.
As I mentioned earlier pertaining to Trump, being tarred as intolerant is not a good way to encourage business in this hyper-competitive environment. So it'll be interesting to see how the Cosmo folks play this one. That said, there is unfortunately a lot less sympathy for transgender people -- even among gays -- than there is for gays and other minorities, so maybe it won't much matter. Time will tell.
Here's the statement from Amy Rossetti, Cosmo PR queen:
Okay, then. They're sorry. It's their fault. They want the transgender woman to come on back. Also, they're sorry. Now let's see what they actually do about it.