An Arkansas man was discriminated against at a casino because he wore a purse.
On August 7, Jordan Kirk and his husband were visiting Oaklawn Raciing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Unfortunately, as NBC’s Arkansas affiliate KARK 4 reports, the excursion was met with homophobia, toxic gender norms, and all-around stupidity. All of which, came in the form of a security guard working for the business.
According to a Facebook post written by Kirk, the guard blocked him from entering the establishment under the grounds of not being able to carry his Louis Vuitton purse. Kirk, however, was confused as several women were carrying purses and handbags into the building.
“I was told my ‘bag’ was too large, and I could put my wallet in my pocket, return my bag back to the car, and then I could come in,” Kirk recalled. “I informed the security guard that this is my man purse (murse) and I would not be putting it back in the car, to which I was told men do not carry purses, they carry bags.”
“I was like well she is taking her purse inside and the lady behind us was like ‘do I need to take my bag to the car?’ and he was like ‘no, purses are allowed.’” Kirk added.
After this, Kirk asked to see a supervisor. He and his husband were then told that the business’s policy did not allow bags of any kind.
“I asked him if a woman was carrying my bag could she take it in the door and he told me yes– but because I wasn’t, I couldn’t take it inside,” said Kirk online.
“Almost every woman that was behind us was like “why aren’t you searching our bag– the woman behind us was like that’s discriminating,” Kirk continued.
Eventually, a manger allowed Kirk to enter the building with the bag. That is, after searching the purse for explosives.
After Kirk’s post started to go viral and the incident gained traction with news sources, the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort released the following statement.
“First and foremost, anyone and everyone over the age of 21 are welcome at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort as long as they adhere to our security requests and guidelines, as well as our COVID-19 precautions and have a valid ID. Safety is and always has been one of our top priorities at Oaklawn – for both our guests and our team members.”
“In keeping with our policy and commitment to provide the highest level of safety precautions, our personnel reserve the right to inspect incoming bags, backpacks, satchels, etc. regardless of form or size. It is essential we reserve this right in light of Oaklawn being a large public venue.
We’ve appropriately addressed Mr. Kirk’s incident with the team members who were involved along with their supervisors. As an important point of clarification, the General Manager of Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort was not present during this incident but our regularly scheduled security team and casino floor manager were there and did permit Mr Kirk to enter the facility with his bag.”
“Finally, Oaklawn would like to apologize for any inconvenience this incident may have caused Mr. Kirk.”
Kirk noted online that the casino did reach out to him to apologize for the incident. In addition, the Vice President of Marketing at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort wrote to him, “On behalf of Oaklawn, I’d like to apologize for the incident and inconvenience last night. The situation has been addressed with our team members. Thank you.”
Hopefully, the casino and the guard have learned their lesson. And for the record, they should also realize how stupid they were to block Kirk from entering. That man was carrying a Louis Vuitton purse. Do they realize how expensive those purses are? That man had money to spend. Instead of barring entry, they should have carried him in!