Gay man, 21, was refused entry to restaurant after bouncer said his leopard print trousers were ‘too, too much’ despite women inside wearing similar clothes
- Brandon Rogers, 21, was refused entry to a restaurant in Manchester
- Bouncer reportedly said that his leopard print trousers were ‘too, too much’
- Instagram pictures show female customers there wearing leopard print patterns
- The restaurant owner apologised and claims it has a zero discrimination policy
- But Mr Rogers’ sister dubbed the apology ‘absolutely shocking’ and says it doesn’t address what happened
An autistic gay man was turned away from a restaurant in Manchester after a bouncer said his leopard print trousers were ‘too, too much’.
Brandon Rogers, 21, from Cheadle Hulme, visited 20 Stories in the city centre on Monday night with his family while celebrating his sister’s birthday.
Upon arriving at the venue for cocktails, the bouncer apparently told Mr Rogers that his trousers were ‘too, too much’ and he would not be allowed inside, but the remaining members of the party could enter if they wanted.
D&D London, which operates 20 Stories, has apologised to Mr Rogers and said the company operates on a ‘zero-discrimination policy’.
His other sister, Paris Osborne, claimed that the bouncer looked at her brother with ‘disgust’.
In separate events last year, two transgender customers were said to have been ‘humiliated’ after they were misgendered and turned away from the 20 Stories restaurant.
Brandon Rogers, 21, from Cheadle Hume, visited 20 Stories restaurant in Manchester and was apparently told by a bouncer that his leopard print trousers were ‘too, too much’
20 Stories restaurant in Manchester bills itself as a ‘high style destination’ for ‘modern British dining, cocktails and sweeping views’
Mr Rogers’ sister Paris Osborne wrote about the incident on Twitter and criticised the business owner’s later apology
She tweeted: ‘We’ve just been out for my sister’s birthday and my brother, who is the best dressed out of all of us and is extremely expressive and proudly gay, was denied entry to 20 Stories MCR.
‘The bouncer looked him up and down, said his “pants are too too much”, “the leopard print, no”.
‘But then they let a man who was seen as more “male” who wore jeans that were discoloured, dirty and wore worn out trainers straight in.
Mr Rogers wore these trousers on the night he was turned away from 20 Stories
‘Absolute discrimination and homophobic. This needs to be seriously addressed.’
Mr Rogers, who has autism, said the bouncer’s comments were ‘infuriating’ as he did not see a problem with the way he was dressed.
‘When we arrived, my sister went into the building and asked if they had a table for six and the bouncer said yes,’ Mr Rogers said.
‘When I walked up behind them, he looked me up and down three times and it felt like he was looking at me judgmentally. The bouncer said everyone else could come in but there was an issue with what I was wearing.
‘My dad asked why and he said what I was wearing was too casual, gesturing towards my pants. We asked what the dress code was and he said it was smart casual. He said jeans were allowed but what I was wearing was ‘too, too much’.
‘Queer people are suppressed and made to feel different our entire lives. I’m personally not a very confident person so the way I present myself with dangly earrings and patterned clothing makes me feel that little bit more confident and happy within myself.
‘Having autism as well makes it really difficult for me to find ways to express myself and feel comfortable within my own skin, so businesses discriminating against me like this could potentially tear down all of that.’
Following her original post, which has now been shared by hundreds of accounts, Mr Rogers’ sister posted a photo from Instagram showing a number of women tagged at 20 Stories wearing similar leopard print clothes.
‘I don’t understand why me wearing leopard print pants doesn’t fit their dress code but they let women with the same print in,’ Mr Rogers added.
‘It was clearly subconscious homophobia – something which I am used to.
Mr Rogers pointed out on Twitter that many women enter the restaurant wearing leopard print patterns and questioned why the rule was different for men
‘My family were more angry at the situation than I was because I’m used to brushing off situations like this but we shouldn’t have to.
‘I’m sick of people having this rose-tinted view of the world being so much more equal and better now, but these high-end venues don’t cater to people like me because I’m not their target audience.
‘We need to get past the idea that male-presenting people wearing what is viewed as ‘feminine’ clothing is detrimental to their reputation.
‘Their policies are the problem.’
‘I don’t understand why me wearing leopard print pants doesn’t fit their dress code but they let women with the same print in,’ Mr Rogers said
The incident comes after two transgender customers were left ‘humiliated’ after being misgendered and turned away from 20 Stories in separate events last year.
At the time, the venue said they were ‘committed to learning from’ the incident and were ‘relooking’ at their procedures as a result.
A spokesperson for D&D London apologised to Mr Rogers and said the company operates on a ‘zero-discrimination policy’.
‘We would like to apologise to Brandon, Paris and their party for the upset this incident has caused and that the group were refused entry from 20 Stories.
‘Since opening, we have implemented a dress code policy at 20 Stories. On this occasion, our door team, reception desk and manager did not believe that the dress code had been adhered to and made the decision to refuse entry.
‘We operate a zero-discrimination policy at 20 Stories and across D&D London and have been doing a great deal of work to implement this by training and educating our staff across the group.
‘We have been working with the LGBT Foundation to develop a training programme for all D&D employees which is now a standard as part of their ongoing training and development.
‘The way I present myself with dangly earrings and patterned clothing makes me feel that little bit more confident and happy within myself,’ Mr Rogers added.
‘Over the last year we have put a number of measures in place to improve awareness and processes and a great deal of work has taken place behind the scenes to ensure 20 Stories and other D&D venues are inclusive for all with management training, our partnership with LGBT Foundation and the donation we have made over the last year to support the incredible work the foundation is doing.
‘Our external security team has gone through mandatory training in LGBTQ+, Effective Communication, and Mental Health Awareness, in the past year.
‘We have contacted Paris and her family in order to discuss this incident and we look forward to hearing back from them soon.’
But Mr Rogers sister was unimpressed with the apology and tweeted: ‘Absolutely shocking apology, no recognition of your policy or wrongdoing at all.’
In a tweet, Dr Paul Martin OBE, CEO of LGBT Foundation, said: ‘What’s happened to Brandon is disgraceful & @20StoriesMCR need to apologise immediately and acknowledge that they got this very wrong.
‘Whilst it’s true @LGBTfdn have begun working with them, this incident has clearly highlighted that much more work needs to be done.’
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