Members of Corpus Christi’s LGBT community are banding together to support a gay man who was barred from entering a nightclub for wearing makeup.

Last Wednesday, Bobby Rodriguez was told by security guards that he couldn’t enter Whiskey River, a nightlife hotspot in the Texas city of some 325,000, unless he removed his makeup. The 21-year-old told KRISTV he was surprised by the encounter—and disappointed.

“We thought we came a long way, but yet we still have to fight for little things,” said Rodriguez, who added that he always wears makeup when he goes out. “I get it that we have to look like our driver’s license, it could be a safety issue. But… I don’t look all that different with makeup on.”

“I think just the issue was that I was a male wearing makeup and not a female.”

 

Now, Rodriguez says he plans to boycott Whiskey River, and other members of Corpus Christi’s queer community are standing with him. Kathy Huff, a local trans activist, is even planning a protest of the bar this Thursday evening.

“This is 2018, not 1950,” Huff told KRISTV. “We don’t have ’whites only’ bars anymore, we don’t have ’whites only’ restaurants, and we don’t have straight anything. We need to be more inclusive and welcoming to everybody.”

This sort of discrimination against gay men isn’t uncommon: Last December, an openly gay staffer at a New Jersey hospital sued his former employer, alleging he was unfairly axed from his position for wearing makeup to work.

Samantha Manzella is a writer and copy editor based out of the Hudson Valley. You can find her writing in a coffeehouse or searching Insta for the latest tattoo artist to hit the scene.

@slmjournalist