Home » VT News » Thoughts On The Cosmopolitan Transgender 86ing

Thoughts On The Cosmopolitan Transgender 86ing

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 27th April 2011 6:09pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 33


Big hot news today is the surfacing of a Trespass Warning given to a guest at Cosmopolitan. For those interested, the account of the story is here.

From what I can gather, Stephanie is male en route to becoming female, but is far enough along in the process to consider herself to be a woman. Throughout the article, Stephanie is referred to by her taken name and referred to as a she. After drinking at Vesper, Stephanie went into the adjacent women's bathroom to use the facilities. Upon exiting, she was met by Cosmopolitan security who read her the riot act - banned for life from Cosmopolitan.

Issues of gender identity are often as difficult for the outside world to comprehend as it is for those who wrestle with it internally. I'm not really sure what the laws are in Nevada regarding pre-op transgender people using which gender specific bathrooms, or even if there is a law or guideline which the industry adheres to. We all know that many of the resorts have rolled out the red carpets to LGBT visitors with promises that their hotels are safe and inclusive for all guests, as they should. As we have stated in these pages many times, VegasTripping has a zero tolerance policy for hate speech of any flavor and enforce it swiftly and without warning.

The issue I have with the article is that it is written specifically to prove Cosmopolitan guilty and treats the security team's mentioned motive - their belief that Stephanie was a prostitute - as fodder for snark, and not included in a recounting of the facts. Everybody within shouting distance of this website knows that Vesper is filled to the gills with hookers. Stephanie was not 86'd from the hotel because she is transgendered, she was 86'd because security thought she was a prostitute.

Did Cosmo's SWAT team act a little harsh? Possibly. Could Cosmo's SWAT team have asked Stephanie some questions before bum rushing her out the back door? Definitely, but how many hookers are going to answer the "are you working?" question honestly... none, thereby nullifying Stephanie's answer. Did Stephanie's gender ambiguousness raise their suspicions? Most likely. Did they consider her a transsexual who needs to be 86'd for being different? No way. Did they consider her a transvestite prostitute hanging out at a bar known in security dept to be a hangout for prostitutes? Definitely. Should Cosmo's SWAT team have had second thoughts when Stephanie produced a New York State drivers license? Yes... and started asking more thorough questions from there.

The assertion that Cosmopolitan would 86 someone because they were transgendered is uniformly and categorically insane. No hotel in this day and age would willfully put itself in the line of a discrimination lawsuit because a guest of their hotel is in pre-operative transition from one gender to another, particularly the forward thinking folks at the Cosmopolitan. The headline is not supported by the story and the facts as presented don't support either. There is no evidence mentioned in the piece that Stephanie was 86'd because she is transgender.

Did Cosmopolitan get this right? No. But they didn't get nearly as wrong as Hotel Chatter asserts.

This is most certainly an unfortunate experience for all involved, but with everything related to gender identity, things are never what they seem on the surface. Kudos to Cosmopolitan for publicly apologizing. Shame on Hotel Chatter for fanning the flames of hyperbole and weighing facts to support their hype.

Tagged: cosmopolitan   


Comments & Discussion:

this is surprising...
just last week while i was signing up for my identity card, the guy taking my info at the desk somehow came to tell me that clark county or nevada proper (i can't remember which) just passed regs protecting the rights of transgendered people (specifically) just the same as anyone else (gay/straight).

One has to really wonder what sort of backlash the Cosmo may be subject to, especially since the details of the matter are being selectively used in a manner to portray the property in a negative light and portraying the transgendered person has more of victim then they actually are.

Sure there have been reports of overzealous security staff at Cosmo (like the couple they tried to 86 several months back because of some PDA in a public space), but the way this matter is being portrayed in some circles, you'd think they were all a bunch of jackbooted Stormtroopers.

Were mistakes made? More than likely yes. Will there be some changes in the way some matters are handled by the security staff? Highly likely. Unfortunately for the Cosmo, this is a black eye for them, as some people will boycott the property without knowing the full story and some people will keep spreading erroneous info.

"We sincerely regret any misunderstanding or inappropriate actions that any member eness initiatives. In addition, we apologize to the individual guest and welcome her back to the resort anytime."

so the only question is what it took, and how long it took, for cosmo to get there.

Is Las Vegas now Arkansas? Hello Cosmopolitan, wake up!!! Your apologies may be accepted, but the sour taste of your bad judgement will linger for a while.

I know the whole "right to refuse service" line. But in order to trespass someone for prostitution don't they need to witness some kind of attempted transaction? If they ejected girls for looking like prostitutes there would be no girls in Cosmopolitan. The apology seems like a cheap excuse for ejecting someone they deemed unsuitable or creepy for their venue.

This is one of the reasons I don't like Nevada's trespass laws. A business should have to have a legitimate reason to 86 someone. We don't know the truth but if her story (as relayed through her friend) is correct, security overreacted and the Cosmo should make a stronger effort to apologize (maybe have the property prez, security boss and the 86ing officers all personally apologize to her), rescind the trespass notice and do something nice to make up for the embarrassment and mistreatment (RFB visit+).

My question is what was she doing at the Vesper at 4am that got them suspicious? She clearly wasn't just there sipping a drink and playing video poker....

From reading the story I am wondering what the big deal was all about. Some of the posts on Hotel Chatter suggest that Vesper has developed a rep of being a hooker hangout. It is 4 am and she had been in the bar since 2:30 am so it stands to reason that someone at the bar either working or there at the same time questioned what she was doing there alone. The security guys were called and they did what they were supposed to do. Not catching her solicting doesnt mean they cant wonder. Her transgender status may have had nothing to do with why she was tossed. Her ban will not last long and the hotel will try to make it right.

Although I know that it is human nature to use one's psychic powers to derive, and comment with authority to the true nature of events that one has no real knowledge of, as has happened here, and I am OK with that, I do feel the need to offer some additional insight to this situation (as I was one of three actual participants).

1. I am, in fact, not a hooker. I am an Emmy Award winning television professional.
2. I was, in fact, just stopping there for a drink on my way back to my room after a night of dancing. Friends had said that the drinks at the Vespar were worth the stop. So there's not much need to conjecture on "what was she doing there at 4:00am". This is Las Vegas, after all.
3. The specific security individuals in question had actually spotted me some time BEFORE I went to the restroom, and did not approach me at all, until (of course) I exited the restroom. This does, in fact, suggest that their issue was not prostitution, but my use of the restroom.
4. There is no 'selective use of facts" going on here to discredit the Cosmopolitan. The entire incident lasted about 4 minutes, from the time I exeted the restroom to the time they put me in a taxi. I was, almost literally, thrown out. Quite frankly, there simply isn't that much stuff that can happen in 4 minutes. The published story correctly recounted all of the facts, and you can effectively evaluate the Hotels behavior for yourself based on that.

Not just the right amount of dong.

I always wanted to be a dolphin, but they won't let me use the pools at SeaWorld. I'm suing.

I guess the question that we don't have the answer to is: Did the Cosomo security know she was transgender before they checked the ID? To me it seems like they thought she was a working girl and just happened to catch her coming out of the bathroom where they discovered that fact, but I strongly think she was booted on suspicion of being a prostitute and nothing else.

Anytime I see a single woman drinking alone at a bar in Vegas at those hours I assume she's working, right or wrong, I'd say most people familiar with Vegas would make that assumption too and security probably makes a habit of checking these girls out (or shaking them down for bribes - I've seen that too).

The problem for Cosmo is that they are now in a box. They can't say "We thought she was a prostitute. She was hanging out by herself in a bar early in AM," nor can they say "What the hell was this guy dressing as a woman doing in the ladies' room?" All they have done is make some vague commitment to sensitivity and say that the guest is welcome to return without explaining its security officers' actions. I say the Cosmo should bite the bullet and tell the truth about what happened and why, if necessary releasing the surveillance video, even if it makes the property (and maybe its policies) and the officers look bad.

ahh. based on some of these comments regarding the presumption that the Cosmopolitan was enforcing some anti-prostitution policy, despite their issuance of a statement specifically addressing and owning up to a gender related transgression, I believe that it might be true. That the Cosmopolitan does not really have a bias against Trans women. Based on this new theory that the Cosmopolitan acted against prostitution, it would appear that they have a bias against ALL women since (based on the assumption proposed here in the comments by others) the Cosmopolitan presumes that any and all un-escorted women at the Cosmopolitan at 4am are prostitutes and will be ejected.

A facinating theory that I will pass on to the appropriate Womens Rights organizations for consideration.

This Thread: Just the wrong amount of liberal rage and cynical suspicion.

It's probably fair to say that somebody higher up than the security floorons made a decision that this person is not a prostitute, otherwise the PR person would not state that they are welcome to come back.

Complaining that almost all the people thrown out for being prostitutes are women will get you nowhere. I miss the days when we could trust Metro to not just shoot people on sight and they could use undercover officers to handle this sort of thing.

Absolutely agree with Chuck's post....

My take, the whole thing is an unfortunate incident, sure, but there are greater tragedies in the world. If she had in fact been thrown out because she is LGBT, then of course that's absolutely wrong and i'd stand against them, but I'm not convinced that was the case.

Cosmopolitan's apology isn't an admission of guilt, it is textbook PR messaging designed to defuse a situation and smooth down the ruffled feathers of those who are offended and outraged in the hopes that the wildfire of misinformation can be contained.

Of course it's typical PR BS, that's all companies do these days. The lawyers would never allow any admission of guilt.

They've made their statement now they'll ignore it, and it'll go away in a couple days. It's standard internet outrage, all but a small few will hit-and-run their Facebook and Twitter pages then forget all about it.

Stephanie - assuming you are the person referenced in the story thanks for answering some questions about this. I have an important one: did the security people that escorted you out ever give you a reason why you were being asked to leave? That seems to be very important info and missing from the story.

And FYI, while of course being single and female at a bar in Vegas at 4am does not make one a working girl, the odds in Vegas are much higher of that being the case than is most any other bar in the US i'd say....

regardless of the reason you were asked to leave, based on the story told it is a big screw up by the hotel. No one should be asked to leave and being banned from returning if they didn't do anything.... but one of the possibilities is much worse than the other for why they did what they did. I wish the hotel would release a statement clarifying why this happened...

"And since Vegas rules date back to Mob days and are therefore kinda, uhh, different from those in other places, a little known fact is that a Vegas casino can ban you for whatever reason..."

One of the stupidest sentences I've read in a while. Las Vegas is the only place where businesses have the right to refuse service?

I assume this is a reference to casinos being able to bar card counters; this wasn't an issue at all until the mid-1960s (since card counting wasn't generally known about before then) and went through legal challenges from roughly 1977-1987, when it was definitively ruled that yes, casinos can bar card counters, and no, the Gaming Commission wasn't going to force them not to. So unless we're really stretching the "Mob days" horizon well into the 1980s, this isn't quite true.

Another aspect that worries me about that post is why it took 17 days to get the info out there. Unless I'm mistaken, the writer knew about the incident via email on the morning of the 4/11th, why did it take over two weeks - until 4/27 - for such a hot button story to be posted?

I'm compelled to wonder if Conde Nast's presentation of "Hot Hotels" award to Cosmopolitan - released to the press on the morning of 4/11 - had anything to do with sitting on the story for two+ weeks. Just that weekend Unwin was in L.A. shmoozing at the event with Conde Nast and invited celebrity guests. For those who don't know, Conde Nast is one the largest publishers of travel, technology and lifestyle magazines in the U.S., and owner of the Hotel/Vegas/Jaunted/Chatter suite of blogs.

If a man dressed up as a woman showed up at a known hooker bar at hooker bewitching hour, I would take one look and think "tranny hooker" too. Sorry, nothing personal, it's just how it is. It's not an unreasonable assumption in those circumstances.

I would also think that from a security viewpoint, a transexual hooker presents greater potential for trouble, i.e. some dumbass drunk getting violent when he realizes he's being propositioned by a guy and next thing you know all hell breaks loose. So I can understand what prompted security.

So what you have here may be an embarrassing error by security, but it's not exactly a Stonewall moment. I say shrug it off.

Get. Over. It.

Could this be a hoax and a retread of an earlier incident, only with the property names changed?


^ That's a really good post.

As a former casino security officer, the whole thing seems a bit strange. I obviously can't speak to what happened (or didn't) at the Cosmo, but accosting paying customers as they come out of the bathroom and formally trespassing them for not doing anything malicious seems a bit over the top.

And the whole thing with a SWAT team with vests and dogs seems like a total fabrication. Have you ever seen a phalanx of officers in riot gear with dogs marching through a casino?

ditto... this is all bullshit.


I'd say "it's a trap!" but in this particular case it might be rude.

For all those people upset with what two employees did or did not do, go ahead and cancel. The rest of us are looking forward to our visit.

And, before you get too high and might, do you KNOW FOR A FACT your other hotel has never done something like this?

Wow! If this truly was fabricated, it's libelous. It'd be awesome if Cosmopolitan pursued the matter in civil court. Wow, just wow. How can anyone take this Julia or Hotel Chatter / Vegas Chatter seriously anymore? This is a stunning turn of events.

That does it. I'll never believe a single word a tranny hooker says, ever again.

Seriously, what a shock. An utterly fabricated pile of bullshit from a drama queen looking to play the victim card. Who'd a thunk?

Why, I'll bet he/she doesn't even have an Emmy!

Dear Stephanie, Unlike the former casino security officer (police officer wantabe), I am a retired "real" police officer. There are knowledgeable and intelligent police officers and security personnel out there but unfortunately quite a few who think when they are given a badge nad gun, or nightstick, they become all knowing and are in total control over their surroundings, which is why there are so many lawyers getting rich and courts full of lawsuits. Until people who are given authority over others are made to pay for their inconsiderate and malicious behavior, or their employers are, the type of situation which you experienced will continue. I too am a male to female crossdresser but had to wait until my retirement to come out without reprisal from my peers, almost all of which were alcoholics, drug users and adulterers. Many were hired because of who they or their family members knew not for their talents with education toward human personal contact. Many also were college graduates and very law enforcement trained but had not attained any street smarts. I would like to take some of these advisers from here, cross dress them up, and send them out in the streets to experience what we have to encounter everyday. If you were falling down drunk, and in man clothing, the security would have set you back on the stool and the bartender would have kept supplying you drinks as long as you were paying and tipping. Most people think that all crossdressers are gay, which should not make a difference, when over 85% are heterosexual. I did four years in the military in order to preserve and enforce the rights given to "all" in this country, most of the cry baby's here have never supported anything but themselves. I supported this country, it's laws, and 3 stepchildren from 2 deadbeat dads for 20 years. I turn 60 on May 7th, my 3rd marriage is at an end, I paid all the dues. Walk in our (CD/TG's) shoes but believe me, the higher the heels the more the hell. Love to all.

Katherine - was your title in the military "General Simplification" or "Sweeping Generalization" ?

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