Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Transgender patron files complaint over bar ban

The Arizona Republic

Scottsdale bar owner Tom Anderson believes he was doing the right thing when he banned several transgender patrons from the club after women complained about cross-dressing men using the women’s bathroom.

But one of the banned patrons, Michele deLaFreniere, has filed a discrimination complaint against Anderson’s Fifth Estate.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office is investigating and a hearing is set for Aug. 7.

DeLaFreniere is chair of the Scottsdale Human Relations Commission and employed by the city, repairing bicycles through its Handlebar Helpers program.

Anderson denies that he discriminated against the transgender patrons. But he said he had to take a stand late last year because female patrons were “freaking out” and threatening to take their business elsewhere.

“It looked like a man trying to get the ladies drink special,” Anderson said of the cross-dressing patrons.

It did not work to have the cross-dressing patrons use the men’s room, either, since some of the men chastised them and they were at risk of getting beat up, Anderson said.

Chuck Kelhoffer, Anderson’s attorney, said the disruption “was starting to have an impact on business.”

In his response to the Attorney General’s Office, Kelhoffer said the complaint is an attempt by deLaFreniere to gain publicity for herself and her cause.

He also questioned whether deLaFreniere is a “pre-operative transsexual, post-operative transsexual or transvestite.”

DeLaFreniere did not return calls seeking comment.

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service