While the nation is having a transphobic discussion about which restroom our transgender brothers and sisters should (or shouldn't) use, a woman was escorted out of a Beyoncé concert at Citi Field in Queens, NYC by police officers Tuesday night because she used the men's restroom. According to the folks over at Gothamist, a woman named "Allison" says she and her girlfriend were attending the concert with some friends when nature called. Allison's girlfriend went to use the women's restroom, but the line was excruciatingly long. Instead of waiting, her girlfriend -- like many other women that night -- used the men's room (which had no wait). Allison says 30 minutes after Beyoncé began to slay the stage, she noticed some commotion between her girlfriend and stadium security personnel. She went to see what was going on. She says security was telling her girlfriend she had to leave because she used the men's room. When her girlfriend persisted, security threatened to call police. Allison says her girlfriend "to go ahead, as she didn't believe she was violating any policy." When NYPD officers arrived, Allison's girlfriend asked them why she was being asked leave. At that point, Allison says the officer handcuffed her girlfriend and escorted her to a holding area then to the gate and made to leave. (The woman was not arrested and, according to Gothamist, the NYPD had no record of the incident.) Allison is demanding a refund and plans to file complaints with Citi Field and the NYPD.
Gothamist has learned that Citi Field allows people to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity, in accordance with the NYC's laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression, but the venue does not appear to have a written policy prohibiting someone from using the facility that corresponds with the opposite gender with which they identify. Citi Field declined to make a statement on the incident, or its policy (or lack thereof). The city's protections specifically aim to provide bathroom access to people consistent with their gender identity, but don't extend to cisgender women hoping to use the men's room, or vice versa. Bobby Hodgson, an attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union, said that to his knowledge, there aren't any criminal penalties associated with accessing a space that does not conform to your gender identity, but private venues such as Citi Field are entitled to create separate spaces and enforce them.