Jordan Kirk and his husband found themselves the victims of discrimination on Friday, August 7th, when they were denied entry into a casino because Kirk was carrying a bag.
Kirk and his husband were stopped at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort by a security guard for seemingly no reason.
Discrimination, Sexism, and Bigotry are real.UPDATE at the bottom of this post. Tonight while enjoy our first date…
Kirk said that he and the security guard got into an argument over the logistics of what constituted a bag or a purse:
“I was denied entry because I was carrying a bag. I was told my ‘bag’ was too large, and I could put my wallet in my pocket, return my bag back to the car, and then I could come in. I informed the security guard that this is my man purse (murse) and I would not be putting it back in the car, to which I was told men do not carry purses they carry bags.”
He was also told that any over-the-shoulder bags were forbidden, which was immediately debunked by a bystander.
“A nice young lady behind us agreed that it was my purse and argued that her purse was much larger. She told the security guard that he was discriminating against me for having a purse.”
After requesting a floor supervisor, things did not get better.
“We requested a floor supervisor to come and ‘resolve’ the issue. The floor supervisor agreed men do not carry purses and I was not allowed on the floor unless I returned my bag to the car. We asked if a woman was to carry my bag through the door as a purse, would it be allowed? And they told us YES! I was just infuriated, and determined to make my point that I was getting inside with my murse or going to cause a much larger scene.”
After this gendered argument seemed to be going nowhere, a more ridiculous element entered the conversation.
“So after a few minutes we called a general manager down to get his view on the situation, it was determined that if I allowed the security guard to search my bag I could carry it in and on the Casino Floor.”
“They were worried that a man carrying a “bag” may have explosives. EXPLOSIVES? You’re kidding me? Because I’m gay, I’m carrying a man purse..now I may carry explosives? I agreed to having my bag searched because I have nothing to hide, but I did inform them how I felt unfairly treated because the women are not being searched as they enter with much larger bags which could be better at hiding explosives.”
Folks responding to the Facebook post couldn’t believe that Kirk had to deal with this at all.
In terms of answers from Oaklawn, Kirk has really only received a small acknowledgement.
“I have received ONE apology from the Vice President of Marketing, Joan Botts via Facebook Messenger: ‘On behalf of Oaklawn, I’d like to apologize for the (in)convenience last night. The situation has been addressed with our team members. Thank you.'”
“Do I feel sliding into my DM’s by one of your marketing directors is cowardly? Absolutely! Nor does a marketing directors apology have much significance. I guess it’s the best I can get at this time. I’m more than ashamed in Oaklawn.”
“This is also the only contact I have had from Oaklawn Casino Resort and Gaming despite their statements that they have reached out multiple times.”
“Sometime on Monday they deactivated the ability to leave a review on their Facebook Page as well as sending them Facebook Messages. They also removed their email address from their website. By Tuesday morning, their Facebook Page has been removed completely.”
The idea that purses are restricted to one gender or another is archaic, as Kirk has addressed in his post.
But perhaps there is still a lot of work to do around the country to update people’s conceptions of gender and what goes along with that.