A pub has launched an investigation after a woman said a security guard shouted “Do you have a penis?” at her and told her to leave.

The woman went to use the men’s toilets at The Black Lion pub in The Lanes, Brighton, as she suffers from Crohn’s disease and could not wait in the queue for the ladies’ toilets. It was Pride weekend and very busy.

She alleges that a security guard, working for Resolve Security, refused to listen about her disability and instead asked about her genitalia.

The woman, who The Argus is choosing not to name, said: “I am a cisgender and would ordinarily use the female toilets but I did not have the time to queue as one of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease is that when I have to use the toilet it is a matter of urgency.”

Crohn’s is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the gut and can cause inflammation.
One symptom of Crohn’s disease is inflammatory bowel disease and the urgent need to use a toilet.

Charities such as Crohn’s and Colitis UK offer a “can’t wait card” which is intended to help people with the condition receive immediate support.

The Argus:
The woman said: “I was trying to explain myself and tried to get my card out but he said ‘do you have a penis?’ and shouted that at me.

“I was quite angry because it is quite concerning that that could be happening to people.

“Given how I was treated in this scenario I am concerned at how trans or non-binary folks may be treated in toilets by security.

“I don’t believe it is ever appropriate for security in a pub to demand to know what genitals a person has.”



Following the allegations, a spokesman for The Black Lion said the pub "does not tolerate discrimination in any form” and had contacted Resolve Security about the incident.

The spokesman said: “Here at The Black Lion, we pride ourselves on running a pub that is at all times a safe, warm and fun place to visit.

“We were unaware of the alleged incident happening at the weekend, however we take feedback of this nature incredibly seriously and are investigating the matter with the team that supplies our security services.

“We want to reassure our guests and the wider community that nothing has changed here at The Black Lion, we have fully accessible facilities for those who may need them, and we look forward to continuing to provide an epic experience that is welcome to all in our pub.”

The Black Lion also reported that Resolve had launched its own internal investigation.

A Resolve spokeswoman said that the company was “unable to provide any further comment as this is an ongoing investigation of which the police have been informed.”
Sussex Police are not investigating the incident as a crime.