Gerri Candice Hollowell is a transgender that is 50 years old. She currently lives in Las Vegas, but had been visiting family in Cleveland, Ohio. Parts of the incident are seen on camera.
While she and a group of friends tried to enter Jack Cleveland Casino, which is now known as the Jack Cleveland Casino, a security guard stopped her and asked her for I.D., she claims. Also according to her, she was the only person who was asked for I.D. when trying to enter.
The next part of the incident is seen on her cellphone camera. A person who is believed to be the security guard is heard saying, “Casino has rules about you have to match your I.D. so hang on a second.” She responded back by saying, “Okay my face is matching my I.D., so I’m saying you’re making a problem”, according to Fox 8.
In the video, you can hear a security guard having concern about Hollowell’s appearance on her I.D. not matching the gender that is listed on it. She is listed as a male on her Nevada driver’s license.
The altercation which is verbal, continues on for another ten minutes.
“No we are not going to fight. You’re going to try and tell me because I’m transgender, I can’t get up in the casino. She’s going to tell me you have to match your I.D. I’m matching my I.D.”, she said according to this report.
Hollowell added that she told her, “I don’t know how you guys do it in Vegas, but here in Cleveland, we just don’t let anybody into our casinos.
According to her, she eventually was allowed to enter the casino. However, she was too upset to stay. The following day she did return to file a report about the incident.
The casino did release a statement to Fox 8. Their statement states, “Jack Cleveland Casino welcomes all guests regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. We intend to continue our investigation of this guest’s concerns”, according to the same source mentioned.
Avery Friedman who is a Civil Rights attorney, said there isn’t a law on the books that says gender and appearance on license must match. When asked about any violations on the casino’s actions, he responded by saying “Sex bias is unlawful. Is transgender bias unlawful? And at this point, the congress hasn’t answered that question”.
Hollowell is considering taking legal action. She is exploring different options that are available to her.
As for now she has said, an apology and sensitivity for the staff would be enough for her. She continued by saying, “Because they can’t have the proper training if this woman actually genuinely thought that this was a problem. These people hurt me”.
Recently there has been a lot of controversy about transgender discrimination at different public places. President Obama has recently said that he wants to ensure that transgender children are being treated with dignity. In an interview with Buzzfeed News, Obama said “I think that it is part of our obligation as a society to make sure that everybody is treated fairly, and our kids are loved, and protected, and their dignity is affirmed”, according to CNN.
Target has also been at the center piece of the controversy surrounding rights for those who are transgendered. Recently around one million people boycotted the store because they announced that they are allowing men to use women’s restrooms and fitting rooms. Vice versa as well. Those who are against Target’s decision, argue that it is putting women’s and children’s safety at risk.
With all of the controversy surrounding this issue, it will be interesting to see how Jack Cleveland Casino would respond to this and if there will be any punishments. Right now the issues surrounding transgender discrimination has been receiving a lot of focus. It will also be interesting to see if other casinos will try to find ways to make sure that situations like Hollowell’s will not happen at their locations. If these kind of situations revolving around discrimination towards transgender continues to occur a lot at casinos and any other public place, even more major conflict can rise.
There are many different thoughts about how situations like this should be handled. Situations like these have to be handled very carefully. Especially since it deals with discrimination issues. Sometimes controversial issues take a long time to resolve, and other times they don’t. It depends on the situation. Usually casinos want to avoid having any type of controversy like this as much as possible.
Jack Cleveland Casino is a casino that is planning on taking steps in making sure this type of situation will never happen again on their location.