After a video went viral showing security guards at popular bar Las Perlas forcibly removing a group of transgender and gay patrons from a bar in downtown Los Angeles Friday after the patrons had opened DTLA Proud, the weekend long Pride festival, organizers have issued the following statement:
Early this morning, we were notified of a deeply disturbing incident that occurred last night at Las Perlas restaurant, where members of our community endured unforgivable transphobic, racist and homophobic harassment.
It is unfortunate these events would ever happen, much less on the opening night of the 4th Annual DTLA Proud Festival, an event created by the community to celebrate our community. And our community proudly includes a rich, brilliant and beautiful spectrum of gender, sexual and racial identities.
DTLA Proud stands against discrimination against any aspect of our community. We condemn and confront transphobia, homophobia, racism and all other forms of bigotry whenever and wherever this ugliness presents itself. We are committed to creating a safe space for all people, expanding our definition of diversity, and building a more fair and welcome downtown for everyone. There is absolutely no room in our DTLA for hate.
This incident reminds us that our work has only just begun, and that we have far to go, even in our own neighborhood. This incident reminds us why the message of DTLA PROUD is more essential and urgent than ever.
It’s important to know that downtown remains a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ people, with many queer-supportive and queer-owned businesses, and even more on the way in 2020. As always, we encourage you to support the businesses who support our community, and make your dollars matter.
We are currently investigating this situation and will make a follow-up statement as soon as possible. In the meantime, community leaders have organized a rally tonight at Las Perlas (107 E 6th St) to speak out loudly against injustice. We applaud and support these heroic efforts.
We promise you will always feel embraced, affirmed and celebrated at DTLA Proud Festival. You always have a place here, and together, we will triumph.
Please join us Sunday at DTLA Proud Festival to show those who wish to silence and erase us — that we will never be silenced or erased.
In fact, we’ll just be louder and prouder than ever before. Together.
Your DTLA Proud Board of Directors