NEWS BRIEF: Transgender person denied entry to local restaurant

There’s still a lot to learn

Pako Zolanski
Photo credit: Courtesy Pako Zolanski/instagram
Managers of a restaurant in Marietta are backtracking after refusing entry to a transgender person. Pako Zolanski, who identifies as he, she and they, was trying to join friends for dinner at The Monticello on Powers Ferry Road when a staffer told him the red skirt he wore was inappropriate. “What we’re saying is he must dress his gender; If he dresses his gender, he is more than welcome to come inside,” a waiter tells Zolanski as shown in a TikTok video that went viral. “I’m Black; I’m gay. It’s just like no matter where I turn, I feel like there’s always going to be a target on my back,” Zolanski said afterwards. “I should be able to walk in this world and not be scared that because I’m wearing a dress people are going to treat me differently.” Monticello management apologized via social media for the Jan. 14 incident and said staff will undergo sensitivity training. But it’s not over yet: Zolanski’s friends have started a fundraiser to pay for a lawyer.