Allentown bar accused of discriminating against transgender patron

Jul 21, 2015

A small group of protestors staged a rally outside an Allentown bar Monday night over the ejection of a transgendered customer.

Demonstrators chanted "Cathode does discriminate"
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

The protestors chanted, "Two, four, six, eight, Cathode does discriminate."  Their outrage stems from a recent incident involving Billie Matthews, a transgender individual.

Matthews was patronizing Cathode Ray with friends when she went to use the ladies room. Matthews claims she was fixing her makeup when a bouncer entered and told her she needed to leave, that men were not allowed in the women's bathroom. Matthews says she took her argument to bar's owner and was ultimately tossed out of the establishment.

Billie Matthews was ejected from Cathode Ray
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

"I told him, hey, I just got kicked out of the bathroom," notes Matthews. "I don't know if you're aware that I'm trans, I'm telling you now. He said what do you want me to do? You're not a woman. You can't be in the bathroom. That's the rule."

Word of the incident spread quickly through social media and the rally was organized early Monday.

Cathode Ray attorney Neil Pawlowski contends the incident is all a misunderstanding

"The trans woman has frequented this bar for years," says Pawlowski. "She's used the female restroom in the past. This is not a shot at her. It was to protect the remaining patrons in the bar, not because she was in there but because of the other occupants that went in there with her."

Pawlowski contends the bar caters to a diverse crowd and is open to anyone in the community.

Cathode Ray was the target of protestors claiming transgender discrimination
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News