Last week, several blogs were recounting a story of alleged lack of hospitality for a transgender guest at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Accusations like this concern GLAAD, as we know that all too often transgender people are discriminated against in public accommodations.
Initially the hotel issued an apology that read, in part, “Again, we would like to apologize to the LGBT community and anyone concerned and hope to demonstrate our firm dedication to fair and unbiased treatment of all.”
Subsequently, GLAAD has talked directly with Amy Rossetti, The Cosmopolitan’s Director of Public Relations. In that extended conversation, Amy outlined the hotel’s firm commitment to the LGBT community and welcomed the opportunity to brainstorm with GLAAD and other LGBT organizations on how to ensure LGBT guests would feel most welcome at the hotel.
We’ve been impressed with the concrete steps the hotel has taken in just a week since the allegations first arose. The hotel has moved forward quickly and decisively. GLAAD was told, “… we are creating an internal task force to raise issues on LGBT diversity and to keep continued dialogue between The Cosmopolitan and the LGBT community. In addition, we are partnering with Las Vegas Gay and Lesbian Community Center to provide content and information for diversity training around the LGBT community. This training will begin May 18. After the training there will be a second round of meetings with LGBT advocacy groups to review the training process and ensure we are doing everything possible to keep our community informed, accepting and effective.”
When a business is presented with the opportunity to examine its policies as they relate to creating a welcoming environment for all people regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, we hope that that business will be as decisively responsive and introspective as The Cosmopolitan has appeared to be.
The media – in this case, particularly blogs – have well documented the accusations against the hotel. It would be good for the media to also document the hotel’s response as a model of how a business can work with the LGBT community to become a more welcoming and friendly place.