Lesbian Complains of Bathroom Confrontation
LAS VEGAS (CN) - A lesbian bowler claims that she was mortified when casino employees cornered her in the ladies' room and almost made her strip to prove she is not a man.
Susan Ho sued Coast Casinos and Boyd Gaming Corporation, the owners of the Gold Coast Casino, for false imprisonment and assault in Clark County Court.
Ho, who identifies herself as a lesbian and resident of Honolulu, Hawaii, allegedly endured the confrontation while competing in the Advanced Travel Bowling Tournament at the Gold Coast Casino's bowling center on Oct. 6, 2011.
It was around noon that day when Ho finished the ninth frame of the fifth game and went to the women's bathroom.
"Upon entering the bathroom, another female bowler wearing a yellow sleeveless shirt and a black bottom also entered the bathroom," the complaint states.
"The female bowler paused and looked at plaintiff as plaintiff entered. Plaintiff had to explain to the female bowler that she was entering the correct bathroom.
"As plaintiff was in the bathroom, she overheard some conversation about her and knew she was going to be approached as soon as she exited the bathroom.
"When plaintiff stepped outside of the bathroom, she saw a wall of people (approximately five to six individuals) blocking the exit to the bathroom." (Parentheses in original.)
Ho says she felt intimidated and harassed because of the number of people waiting for her to leave the restroom.
The assembled employees allegedly repeatedly told Ho that she was in the wrong bathroom.
Ho said an employee named Luciana then accused her "of being a man using the women's restroom," pointing to the written gender designation near the bathroom entrance and then stating, "women's."
"Plaintiff replied, 'I know; I'm in the right bathroom,'" the complaint states. "Luciana then curtly stated, 'ladies' and once again pointed to the gender designation near the bathroom entrance. This time plaintiff replied, 'I know; I am a lady.' Luciana again bluntly exclaimed the word 'Ladies.'"
Ho says there was talk about removing her shirt to prove she was a woman. She said her life partner's son also offered to bring back Ho's ID to prove she was in the right bathroom.
At this point, however, the employees "began smirking and appeared to be reveling in plaintiff's humiliation," the complaint states.
She says she left the bathroom and finished the rest of the tournament but left her shoes at the alley.
The next day, Ho, her life partner, the tournament manager and Gold Coast manager Ranette Long allegedly met to discuss what happened.
"Ms. Leong was apologetic and believed that there was a language barrier that caused the incident," the complaint states. "However, she said she found out at that meeting that Ms. Leong did not report the incident to her supervisors."
Kerrie Burke, the vice president and general manager at Coast Casinos, allegedly sent a letter to Ho acknowledging the restroom incident had occurred.
Burke wrote, "Our efforts to train our employees is ongoing and while I would like to tell you that our training is 100% guaranteed, quite obviously it is not," according to the complaint.
Ho seeks punitive damages for violations of state law, assault, false imprisonment and negligence. She is represented by Robert Flummerfelt of Canon Law Services.