SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A relaxing day at the pool took an ugly turn.
A heated argument caught on camera started when two women claim they were harassed for kissing each other at the Kimpton Sawyer pool.READ MORE: 'I Have No Words': Hero's Family Speechless As He's Receives Carnegie Medal
This all happened Sunday the viral video now has more than 100,000 views. Domonique Veasley tells me the encounter took her by surprise. She believes if she were straight, this wouldn’t have happened.
“This is not okay anymore, it’s 2021,” explained Veasley
According, to Veasley, she came to cool off in the Sawyer pool but other guests’ tempers heated up after she and her friend, also a woman, started kissing. That’s when she says a group of people asked them to stop because their kids were around.
“My initial reaction for the children was ‘Oh yeah, and then I was like ‘You are asking me to stop being me,” she said.
Veasley explained two women out of a group of people approached her and her partner on two separate occasions. Despite straight couples showing the same level of affection, she says they were the only ones approached. She believes the group eventually called security on the couple.
Georgy Avakov said he witnessed the incident.
“The white women specifically targeted Ms. Veas (Domonique) and her friend, despite at least a dozen straighter, non-black couples and parents also in the pool and at the bar at the time, who were being just as affectionate,” he said.
Once security was called, a security officer asked her to get out of the pool and discuss the situation.
“It would’ve been a beautiful moment for her to teach about love to her kids but instead she decided to sexualize two women,” she explained.
Witnesses to the confrontation captured video of the group who can be heard yelling and cursing at the same time you hear supporters of the couple start chanting “shame” as the group is eventually escorted out by security.READ MORE: Assemblyman Says Local Tribes Will Help Design Native American Memorial At State Capitol
Avakov who was part of the group that filmed the aftermath of the encounter and shouted “Shame” as the group walked out said the group was asked to apologize to Domonique by both security and bystanders but refused.
Dominque said during the second encounter with the women she confronted them about their comments being homophobic and racist.
“I kind of called her out on her homophobia and her friend was there with her and I just asked her, ‘Are you on board? Are you on board with this homophobia with this hint of racism that I feel like I’m picking up?’ Because there were other couple’s in the pool,” explained Domonique
Avakov who does not know Domonique said he wanted to make sure to show his support for her.
“It is impossible not to be inspired by her courage, or disturbed by the unprovoked harassment she faced, all while just trying to enjoy a fun afternoon swim with a girlfriend at a hotel pool bar,” said Avakov.
“It’s exhausting but I also felt very supportive from the other people at the pool,” explained Veasley. “It gave me faith for the future and it showed me that it’s going to take a long time, it’s a long road, but it’s a spark of faith.”
The hotel confirmed with CBS13 that an altercation happened, but did not release the details of the encounter.
“The Sawyer does not condone discrimination or verbal assault of any kind. An unfortunate disagreement between guests occurred at our pool over the holiday weekend and the matter has since been resolved,” said general manager, Nikki Carlson in a statement to CBS13. “For any raised case of guest discrimination, we always seek to investigate the matter and diffuse the situation with our trained staff, responsible for looking after the safety and security of our guests and associates.”
Alexis Sanchez, Director of Advocacy and Training at Sacramento’s LGBT Community Center tracks hate and bias encounters throughout Sacramento.
“We have seen these things continue to be on the rise they have tracked upward since 2015,” she explained. “There is more acceptance, but at the same time, people — especially people with multiple marginalized identities — are still the hardest target.”
It was a relaxing day that turned turbulent, but one Veasley hopes will ultimately serve as a lesson in acceptance.MORE NEWS: Thousands In Attendance For Return Of California Capital Airshow
“Eventually things are going to change, as long as we keep pushing it. There is no movement, without movement,” she said.