Bar's post sparks community outrage
The Cliffton Bar posted a meme early this week featuring a man sitting next to a transgender woman, sparking outrage from the community. A protest has been planned for this Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m. in front of the bar.
The post shows a man next to a transgender woman, with the caption, “Just two dudes chillin’ at The Cliffton,” superimposed on the image with emojis of two men holding hands, dancing and with a heart. The lower caption reads, “Should we tell him, or let him find out himself?” The post was deleted by Monday evening.
In the following days, people on social media showed disdain for the post and the bar, whose motto is “Come as you are.” People were encouraged to flood the business with calls. Complaints were also written on their Facebook page ratings, which tanked the bar to 1.7 out of 5 stars as of late Monday. The page has since been deleted. Their Google rating is 2.1.
A protest was promptly planned through social media, in which 144 people have committed to attend, with 420 marking themselves as “interested.” The protest will be peaceful, according to the organizers, and follow the rules set forth by the Suffolk County Police Department. According to an email sent to the organizers, SCPD will have an increased presence in the area to maintain peace.
David Kennedy, executive director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, of which The Cliffton is a member, sent an email letter to directors on Tuesday to address the issue. It comes in the wake of an announcement by the chamber than the June 27 Alive After Five event will be Pride-themed. Dwight Wolter, pastor of the Congregational Church of Patchogue, sent an email to the Advance expressing his support of the protest, saying he “fully support[s] inclusion and full equality of all persons.” The Cliffton issued an apology early on Wednesday through their Instagram page.
“After careful consideration of all those involved, we would like to extend our deepest and most sincere apologies to those we may have unintentionally offended, specifically Tiffany,” the post said. Tiffany is the reported name of the woman in the photo.
The post continued by saying the bar recognizes its poor choices on social media, but wants the space to never be “transphobic, homophobic, or anti-LGBT.” The bar welcomed people to come and “get to know them again” and “correct the mistakes” they have made.
The protest is being organized by Dev Kay, a friend of the woman in the photo, and Annie Manildoo. It begins at 7 p.m. and will go until 11 p.m. to comply with local ordinances.
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