Drag queen says she was denied service at Whataburger in Austin, Texas

Whataburger apologized on Twitter for the "bad experience."
By Elisha Fieldstadt

A drag queen says she was denied service at a Whataburger restaurant in Texas over the weekend.

"I was just refused service at a Whataburger in Austin, Texas, because I was in drag," Erika Klash wrote on Facebook and Twitter on Saturday. "Manager didn’t want me to enter and security blocked me from entering without citing any company policy. I am a professional artist, NOT A security threat."

Klash was in Austin to attend the International Drag Festival and was dressed in drag as Monokuma, a bear character from the video game series “Danganronpa" when she stopped by the Whataburger on Guadalupe Street with a friend to get food.

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Whataburger apologized on Twitter to Klash for the "bad experience."

"We love all of our customers & we are investigating the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate incident. Please DM us your info, We would really appreciate an opportunity to speak to you directly so we can address this," the tweet said.

On Monday, Klash wrote in a Facebook post that she spoke with a Whataburger representative, who recorded her account of the incident and told her an investigation would be conducted and completed within the week.

"I REALLY want to believe that this was all a misunderstanding, but at this moment I cannot be certain. Hopefully this investigation will shed some light," Klash wrote.

"When one is in full drag, and there are strangers staring at you while you're being physically blocked from entering an establishment, AND the person blocking your entry does not give a clear reason for doing so, its hard for one not to wonder WHY all of that is happening. As a queer person, It's also hard to feel safe in those moments," Klash wrote.

"In short, I could not make any clear determination on the motivation behind them denying me entry. This also means that I could not rule out discrimination as a potential motivation," she said.

Klash said her weekend and her love of Austin, which she has experienced as "a very queer-friendly city" would not be soured by the incident.

She added that she successfully got a Whataburger meal Saturday night by driving through the drive-thru at a different location without issue.

"BLOW THE WHISTLE if something happens that you think is wrong," Klash concluded. "That being said, let’s educate before we cancel. Let's keep the 'civil' in civil disobedience. And lastly, let's give folks a chance to do better."