A punk rock band cancelled their entire show at the last minute – after the manager of the venue they were performing at told their guitarist to not to use the women’s toilet.
Mel Pereira, the guitarist in band Brasher, spoke out after the cancelled gig at the Rockhouse in Andover on December 20.
She explained that before the show, the venue manager pressed her on whether she had “had a full sex change” and claimed “it is illegal for you to use the ladies” – instructing her to use the disabled toilet instead.
The band opted to walk out without playing a single note.
Brasher guitarist Mel Pereira hits out at ‘illegal’ discrimination
In a statement, Pereira explained: “I told the rest of Brasher that we weren’t playing as the bar manager had told me I wasn’t allowed to use the ladies bathroom.
“Members of [other bands] SEVEN CROWNS and Vatican Romp helped us pack up our gear and we all left together.”
She added: “It is illegal for ANYONE to to tell or suggest to any individual which facilities they can or cannot use in any establishment.
“It is discrimination, period. Transgender people have protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, and so making comments of the above nature is a direct breach of this Act.
“Asking ANY individual if they have had a sex change is illegal. This is also a breach of the Act.
“The manager was likely unaware of her breaching the Act but was also not willing to listen to me – I was in a position where I was willing to educate her, but she was not in a position to listen to me.”
She added: “The Rockhouse: consider yourselves blacklisted.”
Venue promises ‘training for staff’
In a statement on their Facebook page, the managing director of The Rockhouse said: “I have investigated the matter of a complaint and have found comments were made which we appreciate [were] uncomfortable, and [were] never meant as a personal attack by the member of staff.
“It is the first time the company has had a situation like this and appreciate it could of been handled better.
“I have now put actions in place to ensure this does not happen again, and further training will be had by all staff and volunteers. We will issue an apology at the earliest convenience.”
However, the band said that the venue “are not cooperating and haven’t issued any apology.”