Ladies' night policy at club changed after transgendered woman was refused free drinks

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - In order to drink at Bishop's Tavern and Lounge in downtown St. Petersburg, everyone has to show an ID.

On Thursday, anyone who wants to drink for free out of the official pink cups has to show an ID with an "F" for "Female", just like Alex Borrego's

"I'm transgendered," Borrego said. "I'm a female."

Last week, Borrego and her friends decided to check out Ladies Night at the bar, but when Borrego asked for a pink cup, she says the bouncer turned her away, calling her a "dude".

"Tried to show him my ID and he just refused to see it," Borrego explained.

Borrego went back to her friends and told them she wanted to leave.

"I could tell from her face she was humiliated," her friend, Levi Love, recounted.

The next day, she got a call from the bar's owner, Dean Marshlack.

"To express my sincerest apologies that they were offended," Marshlack said. "We're not here to pass judgment or make anybody's life more difficult than they are."

He believes the bouncer acted more out of ignorance than malice, and takes blame himself for not educating his staff, but admits it's not an issue they've ever confronted before.

"He accepted responsibility. He didn't try to make excuses," Love said.

Marshlack plans to change his Ladies Night police for the first time in five years. From now on, anyone who claims to be a woman will be accepted as one and given the pink cup, no matter if they have an ID with an "F".

"We'll accept them and they can come in and have a good time," Marshlack said.

Borrego and Love, who rallied others to join a boycott of the bar but have since called it off, hope the change in Bishop's policy might spread elsewhere, because Borrego says it was never really about the pink cup in the first place.

"I didn't go through 2 years of hell just to go to a bar and get a free drink," she said.
 

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