CORPUS CHRISTI (CBSDFW.COM) — A bouncer at a Corpus Christi nightclub denied entry to a man in full makeup, wearing sparkly, silver stiletto boots.
Told he was “out of dress code,” Ben Rios was looking forward to a night out with friends at the VooDoo Niteclub.
The 23-year-old told KIII-TV the bouncer let his friends in but when he looked at Rios’ I.D. he told him, because he was wearing women’s makeup and clothes, it was against dress code and he wouldn’t allow him inside.
“I was shocked,” Rios said. “I couldn’t believe what came out of his mouth.”
Rios said he was humiliated and he and his friends ended up going home.
On the fence on whether or not to talk about the alleged discrimination, Rios posted on Facebook about what happened.
His post gained traction and by the next day Rios received a phone call from the nightclub’s manager.
“(He) explained that’s not how they conduct business,” Rios told the TV station. “That’s not what they stand for… you know he was saying he loves the LGBTQ community and he was just very apologetic.”
Rios alleges the manager didn’t give him any reason why the bouncer turned him away and even invited him back to VooDoo.
But a post on VooDoo’s Facebook page on Monday told quite a different story.
The statement said on Saint Patrick’s Day Weekend two men wearing skirts heels and makeup were allowed into the club and the women’s restroom.
However, several women approached management later complaining that the men were in the restroom videoing women without their consent. Managers tried looking for the two but they had already left.
It went on to say that last Saturday night a man and his friend were denied entry because they matched the description of the two men from the previous weekend.
A manager was called to see if they were the same two men but by the time he reached the front door the pair had left.
Rios told the TV station that the manager mentioned none of the above during their phone conversation.
“If he had been honest about the story that apparently happened on Saint Paddy’s Day weekend maybe I would have been understanding,” Rios said. “But you can’t profile somebody for looking the way you look.”
VooDoo Niteclub Manager Albert Cantu said Rios is a regular and his bouncer made a mistake.
“One person made the wrong decision,” Cantu said. “It was just a total, total misunderstanding.”
Cantu said they don’t discriminate against anyone in the LGBTQ community and they welcome everyone.
He said the only dress code they enforce is for safety, such as no gang-related tattoos or colors
Cantu said they’ve invited Rio’s and his friends back, but Rios said he’s a little reluctant.