Two days before a Friday night rally that’s being planned over an objectively vile Instagram post poking fun at a transgender patron, The Cliffton bar in Patchogue has issued a public apology over Instagram.

“After careful consideration of all those involved, we would like to extend our deepest and most sincere apologies to those we may have unintentionally offended, specifically Tiffany,” who was pictured in the below post on The Cliffton’s Instagram feed with another patron. (The original photo did not have the faces blocked out.)

“We acknowledge that our judgement is not always the best on social media, but we are also confident the public will learn that The Cliffton has never, nor will ever, be transphobic, homophobic, or Anti LBGT,” the apology continued. “In fact for over a year now we have been quite the opposite, and proudly known for being the Google #1 ranked LBGT friendly bar on the Patchogue mainland.”

The entire apology appears below.

Calls this week to The Cliffton by GreaterPatchogue went unreturned, and a reporter was unable to find evidence of the Google ranking online. The bar is known locally for attracting a diverse crowd, including gay and transgender patrons.

story continues below

The post, and a second one deemed anti-gay (scroll down below), set off a firestorm within the LGBTQ community and beyond — across the island. The posts have since been deleted.

The anti-Cliffton rally planned for outside the bar, which is just north of East Main Street on Maple Avenue, starts at 7 p.m. this Friday, April 12.

Click here for details:

PROTEST TRANSPHOBIA / HOMOPHOBIA / RACISM ON LONG ISLAND!

The rally’s organizer, Annie Manildoo, said she was aware of the apology and still planned to protest, “as their apology was simply not enough to make up for their myriad of issues from their past in addition to their recent post.”

Cliffton owner Brian Neal opened The Cliffton in the space last occupied by The Garage in early 2018, touting it as a welcoming, throwback dive bar.

The tone he’s trying to set there, he had told GreaterPatchogue at the time, was inspired by Nirvana’s Come as You Are. His vision is to build a place for all walks of life to gather, judgement free, he had told a reporter.

While some came out in support of the bar in comments under the apology on their own Instagram feed, others weren’t swayed.

Take this response from jleebs90:

“You took a picture of a patron without their knowledge, outed them as transgender, called them by the opposite pronoun by which they identify, stated clearly what sex organs you believed they had. You’re calling this “bad judgement” but not transphobic? It seems like a lot of work went into making the post. A lot of work went into deleting other posts that would have called further bullshit on your “come as you are” narrative.

“Be honest, just call it what it is.”

Over the past 2 days a number of people have expressed concern over an Instagram post on our Instagram page. After careful consideration of all those involved, we would like to extend our deepest and most sincere apologies to those we may have unintentionally offended, specifically Tiffany. We acknowledge that our judgement is not always the best on social media, but we are also confident the public will learn that The Cliffton has never, nor will ever, be transphobic, homophobic, or Anti LBGT. In fact for over a year now we have been quite the opposite, and proudly known for being the Google #1 ranked LBGT friendly bar on the Patchogue mainland. So all we can do now is invite you to come down and get to know us again. Maybe you want to ask questions or just yell at us. Either way, we will do our best to correct the mistakes we have made and work with the community to move past these turbulent times…

A post shared by The Cliffton – A Dive Bar (@theclifftonbar) on