Texas

He wore makeup to the club — but couldn't get in because 'men need to dress like men'

Profile pic on Bobby Rodriguez's Facebook page. Rodriguez', 21, is from Kingsville, Texas.
Profile pic on Bobby Rodriguez's Facebook page. Rodriguez', 21, is from Kingsville, Texas. Screenshot

Kingsville, Texas resident Bobby Rodriguez made the 40-mile trek east to Corpus Christi Wednesday night because he wanted to go dancing.

When he made it to the front of the line at Whiskey River nightclub, though, he says he was turned away because he was wearing makeup.

"This homophobic security guard at the door told me i couldn't come into whiskey's unless I wiped off my makeup because there is a rule which thier [sic] are no signs stating that men need to dress like men and so on for women," Rodriguez wrote in a Facebook post early Thursday morning. "I've never been so offended in my life."

But, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, he complied with the bounder's rule and wiped his makeup off, because his bottom line was that he came to dance.

"I literally had to walk back to my car and rip my false lashes off and wipe off my lipstick," Rodriguez told the newspaper. "I was so upset. I mean, who wouldn't be?"

This homophobic security guard at the door told me i couldn't come into whiskey's unless I wiped off my makeup because...

Posted by Bobby Rodriguez on Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Angela Blohm, the nightclub's owner, told the Caller-Times that Rodriguez' allegations are "just a bunch of frivolous baloney," and acknowledged that her club does enforce a "gender appropriate" dress code. She also said there is no way to prove that the encounter Rodriguez described ever took place.

Both Rodriguez and the Caller-Times noted that there are no visible signs outside Whiskey River making patrons aware of what Blohm described as the "gender appropriate" dress code enforced by its employees.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 does prohibit businesses from discriminating against citizens, but only when that discrimination is based on race, color, religion or national origin. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not covered.

Though some states offer those same protections to LGBTQ citizens, Texas is not one of them.

Within Texas, 12 of the state's largest cities have ordinances in place to protect the rights of gay people and/or transgender people, according to the Texas Tribune. Corpus Christi, though — with its population of more than 325,000 as of 2016 — is not one of them.

"The law is on Stacy's side," said her attorney. Watch as he and Bailey's wife defend her case.

Black male club patrons report being turned away at the door based on fluid applications of the dress code. Several said their shoes were the determining factor, when other non-black men were admitted wearing similar shoes.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

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