Several hundred people gathered at Resource Center on Sunday night to rally and march in memory of the black trans women who have been murdered in Dallas in recent months, and to rally and march against the anti-transgender violence that has claimed the lives of at least nine trans women — all of them black — so far this year.
At least 79 transgender people — most of them trans women of color — died violent deaths between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2018, according to information compiled by the Human Rights Campaign.
Police in Dallas have said that although they have found no direct connection between the murders of Brittany White in October 2018, Muhlaysia Booker in May 2019 and Chynal Lindsey in June 2019, there are enough similarities between those crimes — including an April knife attack on another trans woman, not publicly identified, who survived — to suggest they may be connected. Investigators are also considering the possibility that the unsolved July 2015 murder of black trans woman Shade Schuler may also be connected.
March ends in protest at JR.’s
Sunday night’s march started at the Resource Center, on Cedar Springs Road at Inwood Road, and ended at The Crossroads (Cedar Springs at Throckmorton), and many of those participating then rallied outside of JR.’s Bar & Grill to protest an incident at the bar on June 4 in which a bartender/manager, Carter Young, refused to serve a transgender woman and had her and her friends thrown out of the bar.
In a Facebook post dated June 5, at 10:04 p.m., Daniel Heredia said that his friend Blair Jirousek, a trans woman visiting from New York, ordered a drink from Young, who then demanded to see her ID then refused to serve her because Jirousek has not had her name or gender markers changed on her ID yet, so her ID did not match her presentation.
Heredia said that 15-20 minutes later, another friend walked in and went to a different bartender for a drink, but Young refused to allow the bartender to serve the man because he was with Jirousek’s group. Heredia said Young then called security to have their group thrown out of the bar, and he posted video of the security guard, M. Lozano, arguing with and pushing Jirousek on the sidewalk outside the bar.
Heredia said that police officers called to the scene verified that Jirousek’s ID was real, but that Young had demanded that officers issue Jirousek a citation for trespassing, although the officers declined to do so.
At 2:29 p.m. June 6, management at JR.’s posted a statement on Facebook noting that “after reviewing the situation and gathering statements from the parties involved, the company has chosen to terminate the employee in question effective immediately.” A later post indicated that JR.’s management had spoken to the firm employing Lozano, indicating that Lozano would no longer be assigned to the bar.
The statement from JR.’s also; noted: “We are against discrimination of any kind, and work diligently with all employees to ensure that our bar is a welcoming space for everyone to celebrate. We respect and value people from all communities and will continue to advocate for diversity and inclusivity.”
Over this past weekend, Young posted his version of the incident on Facebook, and the post was picked up and reprinted at Queerty.com. Young said he refused to serve Jirousek because the ID she presented appeared fake and because she had presented fake IDs during other visits to JR.’s over the last several years. Young also said he did not refuse service to others in Jirousek’s group.
Young said that after Jirousek and her friends were made to leave the bar, Jirousek began screaming at and hitting the security guard, Lozano. He said that police did, indeed, issue a citation for trespassing to Jirousek, and that the officers not only could not verify her ID as either authentic or but also noted that she had “several IDs from different states,” even though she had told Young she had only one ID.
Young said that he was fired from the company where he had worked for 21 years the next day, and that company officials had decided to fire him even before they heard his side of the story because of “a false narrative had already spread like wildfire online.”
Heredia later told Queerty disputed Young’s claims, saying that Jirousek had not been to JR.’s since she moved away from Dallas three years ago, that Young did refuse to serve any of Jirousek’s friends, and that Jirousek did not hit the security officer.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Dallas Voice did not report on this incident earlier because we first learned about it when we were on deadline on a Thursday morning and did not have a spare reporter to start investigating and would not publish the accusations without giving the bar and the bartender a chance to respond. By that afternoon, JR.’s had already fired the employee involved and issued its statement. We were offered the opportunity late Friday to post Young’s response, but chose not to publish it since we had not published the initial accusations. We are including this here because it is relevant to the Sunday night march.)