May unforgettable experience noong April 23, si BB Gandanghari sa isang bar and restaurant sa Metrowalk, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City.
Ikinuwento ni BB—ang dating aktor na si Rustom Padilla—sa kanyang blogspot (http://www.bbgandanghari.blogspot.com) ang kanyang experience nang pumunta siya at ang kanyang mga kasama sa Aruba Bar and Restaurant para panoorin ang concert ni Rannie Raymundo.
Hindi diumano pinayagan si BB na makapasok sa loob ng bar dahil ay dress code ang Aruba Bar and Restaurant. Nakapaskil sa may entrance ang mga ipinagbabawal na mga kasuotan, kabilang na ang "no cross-dressing."
Sa ibaba ng listahan ng kanilang dress code ay nakasulat ang paalala na ito: "Management reserves the right to refuse entry to those who are inappropriately dressed, threat to security, mentally depraved, incorrigibly uncool."
Ito ang kuwento ni BB tungkol sa naturang insidente:
"'Rules,' Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, 'are not necessarily sacred, principles are."' The incident that happened to me and my friends on the night of April 23 is an example of rules violating the principles which motivate humanity to live in equality, to treat each other with respect, and to uphold each other's dignity.
"I was all set to watch Rannie Raymundo's show in Metrowalk. Dee and my assistant Sass were with me. I didn't know where exactly in Metrowalk the show would be. So while I was on my way, I texted Maegan, who would also be watching with us. She told me that it was going to be in Aruba Bar and Restaurant.
"Upon hearing that it was going to be there, Sass brought up the unfortunate incident Inday Garutay [a standup comedian] experienced there. I heard it before but I didn't know that it happened there. Feeling worried, I requested Sass to ask Aruba Bar and Restaurant whether they have any problem with me watching the show.
"Sass talked to the bouncer of Aruba Bar and Restaurant but she was then referred to the manager. She asked Sass: "What is she wearing?" Sass told her that I was wearing what every woman wears.
"The manager then reiterated the blatant 'No Crossdressing' policy hanging on their door. Sass refused to accept her reasoning. The manager then offered to consult the owner of the bar.
"The manager returned and gave a compromise: We can stay outside of Aruba Bar and Restaurant. Sass left and narrated what she was told. We left Metrowalk and transferred into a bar that understands that bigotry is not a sound business strategy.
"I have felt perhaps the same feeling Rosa Parks felt when she was asked to give up her seat so a white passenger could sit. We, and countless human beings like me, suffered and continue suffering the same indignity of discrimination:
"Rosa Parks was discriminated because of her skin color; human beings of transgender experience are being discriminated because of their gender identity, the deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which of course does not always match the sex assigned by the doctors upon our birth.
"I wasn't demanding any special treatment from them. I was just there looking forward to enjoy the music and performance of Rannie, just like any other human being inside their bar.
"Certainly, I dressed up as a woman because I am a woman. If I dressed up in a masculine way, that would be the time that I would be crossdressing. But let's discard all the labels, it's not the issue.