Drag queens accuse Uber drivers of discrimination

Posted at 11:31 PM, Dec 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 09:39:47-05

Two San Diego drag performers are accusing two Uber drivers of discriminating against them by kicking them out of their cars on two different occasions because they were female impersonators.

“I was really upset. I was really, really, really upset,” said DJ Castillo, who is known as Davina Love when he is performing in drag.

Castillo performs as Davina Love regularly at Gossip Grill in Hillcrest. Last Sunday after work, he and two friends called for an Uber ride.

“We were the only people waiting. He pulls up and he seemed really friendly,” Castillo said. “A friend of mine, we’re having a conversation, he’s having a hard time and I was like, I wish I could get out of drag, and I was just complaining about being in drag. From there the mood of the driver kind of like, went weird, because all of the sudden he said that we were the wrong people that he picked up."

Castillo then challenged the driver, asking what the driver was talking about. 

“I checked on my phone, I was like checking on my phone, I said, no, it says right here that you are the person that’s picking me up," Castillo said. "Then he’s like, no, I picked up the wrong person."

That's when Castillo noticed that the driver had canceled the ride and was heading back to Gossip Grill. 

“So, he comes around, drops us off. Asks us to get out of the car. I was like, well, why did you drop us off?" Castillo said. "He was like, just please get out of the car."

An Uber spokeswoman told 10News:

“Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination. When we were made aware of this incident, the driver partner's access to the Uber app was removed."

Miss Gay San Diego, Nadya Symone, is a drag performer who's had a similar Uber experience.

She told 10News that several weeks ago a different driver kicked she and a friend, who is transgender male, out of the car, while Symone was in full drag.

They also filed a complaint with Uber. The rideshare company told 10News that they are looking into Symone's case as well. 

The Uber spokeswoman said drivers must agree, in writing, to Uber’s terms of service which prohibits discrimination.