Nothing pisses me off more royally than transphobia these days. TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Not-Actually Feminists) are everywhere, and in Japan they’re notorious on Twitter for bullying people for not adhering to the strictest of definitions of female – because intersex people are a myth in their minds. Since I’m the Stonewall Japan Vice President and Kanto East Block Leader, I keep an eye out for places and people that exhibit shitty behavior just in general.
In this particular case, I feel personally betrayed and hurt. Bar Goldfinger is one of the few standing lesbian bards in Nichome, Shinjuku. If you didn’t know, lesbian bars are kind of dying off, and I liked to visit for karaoke nights with friends. It was a frequent stop to bar hop on my way through on a Friday and Saturday night.
So when I heard that the owners were transphobic pieces of human trash that broke my heart.
It started with just a Facebook post on the Kanto East Block Page (name removed so I’m not outing anyone).
[Facebook Post: Name Redacted for Privacy Concerns]
This is my first time posting on Stonewall, so please let me know if my post doesn’t fit the guidelines in anyway and I’ll be happy to remove or edit it.
Just to note that this is as told to me by my friend so it’s possible that there are some slight details that have been lost. But I thought a lot of people in the community would be interested to hear about something that my friend experienced at the Bar Gold Finger Party last night.
The party takes place every 3rd Saturday and it clearly states Women Only on the website. My friend’s friend from France was performing as a DJ. The DJ wanted to bring her friend who is trans. The DJ confirmed with the venue that it would be ok to bring her friend in advance. However, when they arrived, their IDs were checked and so the trans person was not allowed to enter because their gender marker on their ID is male*. The DJ then refused to perform if her friend was not allowed to enter. And now the DJ is apparently blacklisted from Goldfinger. Apparently the trans person was told: “You don’t even look like a woman.”
I’m all about women friendly and queer friendly safe spaces. And I can understand why people might feel more comfortable in a female only/female majority space. But to me, this goes against the spirit of such ideas. It might be ok to exclude cis men from entering the party or the bar one day of the week, but what does excluding trans people achieve?”
*Note: The ID marker wasn’t male, as you will see below.
The friend has now posted a letter to Goldfinger via Twitter in order to receive answers on the unfair treatment that happened that night.
Just to be clear, the marker was F, as in FEMALE, but the bouncer decided that Elin didn’t “pass” as female. That is some TERF bullshit.
When I see people posting in “defense” of this bullshit, the common arguments are, “Well, it’s a lesbian bar! Why not go to a mix bar?”
Trans women are women. That’s why. They’re not “mixed,” they are women who deserve a space to go be around other women.
“But-but some women don’t feel safe if a trans woman is there.”
Trans women never feel safe, and excluding them from safe spaces puts them in more danger. Trans women die when we don’t speak up for them and stand with them.
People will try to spin this as a, “Well, that’s just how they feel! They don’t mean any harm.” BUT IT IS HARMFUL TO SAY YOU DON’T BELIEVE TRANS WOMEN ARE WOMEN! It’s bullshit to try to claim you’re an activist for LGBTQIA+ rights and then turn around and pit in the face of the T in the goddamn acronym.
But don’t worry, Chiga-san doubled down on her TERF mentality and threw up this lovely sign with small print now.
Yeah you see that right, they’ve now added the fine print of Women (cisgender) ONLY, because fuck you that’s why.
A club that’s proud to exclude trans women isn’t a club I want to ever patronize, but not only that, I want every single LGBTQIA+ person visiting to know about this policy. I want my trans ladies to know that this place ain’t safe, and I want you to be safe so bad. YOU ARE VALID, and you deserve to be accepted and loved.
I ask that other LGBTQIA+ people stand with their trans sisters and don’t go to this bar. I will never be going back again, which sucks in a major way because I have so many fond memories of that damn place. It’s infuriating that the whole time it turns out the owners were so full of hate and malice towards trans people.
If you’re looking for a trans friendly event, try out this one below.
And finally, if you would like to be in a more inclusive space I do recommend checking out Vox. Vox is a new bar and dance club that promotes as an all around “all gender bar” and “any orientation ok!” It has an inclusive atmosphere, and even puts “FTM、FTX、MTF、MTX” into their event schedules.
If you have also faced discrimination at Goldfinger, please comment and share your story.
UPDATES: May 31st, 2019
Bar Goldfinger has been called out on Twitter by a ton of trans activists. Some of them have even suggested that perhaps Goldfinger should be taken out of Tokyo Rainbow Pride in the future because of its anti-trans stance.
Also a good friend and trans activist, Tomato Hatakeno, wrote a very lengthy piece in Japanese about the issue. If you can read Japanese, I highly recommend it. I’ll try to see if Tomato-san will allow me to translate it into English so others can read it as well.
Bar Goldfinger has now updated their stance to, “If we find someone who doesn’t fit in this event (イベントの雰囲気にそぐわない方）we may possibly ask you to stay out.” in Japanese (shout out to my friend Luna for translating and letting me know about this new picture).
Basically, it’s a shallow attempt to have their transphobic cake and eat it too, in my opinion. They got blasted on social media for being transphobic, and now they’re trying to find a “compromise” on the situation. Here’s the thing though…
IT’S STILL FUCKING TRANSPHOBIC TO KICK TRANS WOMEN OUT OF WOMEN SPACES YOU MASSIVE TWAT WAFFLES.
That is all.
UPDATE #2: I have made a vlog addressing “counterarguments”