Airbnb is investigating a Dallas-based host after a prospective guest said he was denied from booking due to his sexual orientation
“Love trying to book a [Airbnb] with my bf in Dallas and having this be the response to our booking,” Curtis Kimberlin Jr. posted on Twitter.
Accompanying the tweet was a screenshot where the host responded to his message with “So I’ll be hosting two men sleeping together…right?”
Love trying to book an @Airbnb with my bf in Dallas and having this be the first response to our booking. 🙃 pic.twitter.com/vVN9w1UW1P
According to Kimberlin, a Dallas native, the man denied their Airbnb request shortly after.
“I was shocked for sure, but I am also somewhat used to having to hide certain parts of myself to calm conservative folks’ reactions to my identities,” Kimberlin said in a comment to NBCDFW.com. “I wasn’t completely surprised, more so disappointed.”
In a statement to NBCDFW.com, Airbnb said the host has been suspended from the platform as they launch an investigation into the matter. Additionally, Airbnb reached out to the guests impacted.
“We enforce a strict nondiscrimination policy, and when a potential violation of this policy is brought to our attention, we investigate and take action, up to removal from our community,” the company said in a statement.
Last month, Airbnb released a six-year update on their work to fight discrimination and make the company more inclusive. Airbnb has also previously stated that hosts “may not decline guests based on their sexual orientation or gender identity”
Kimberlin said Airbnb did reach out though their response was to what he described as corporate.
“They basically said “We will look into this” and left it at that,” Kimberlin said. “There was no follow-up from Airbnb to let us know what actions they took in response beyond their initial response once my tweet went viral. I truly wonder what would have happened had I not tweeted about it.”
In response to Kimberlin’s tweet, Hilton hotels and even another Airbnb host reached out in support and their own offers.
“Curtis – if you and your partner still need help with a stay, we got you,” Hilton said in a tweet.
“If you ever need to come back to Dallas, I would gladly host you and your bf!” one Twitter user responded with a link to their Bishop Arts listing.
Kimberlin and his partner accepted free accommodations from Hilton and said the company was very kind to him and his partner.
Despite their unfortunate experience, Kimberlin said he and his partner would gladly come back to Dallas, his hometown.
“Dallas will always be home to me! I went to college in Dallas and my entire family is from the area,” he said. “I have no ill will toward Dallas and know that this does not fully represent Dallas. I know where I can be my full self in Dallas and where I have to hide certain elements of myself and this was just an unfortunate moment.”