Well there is a little song in ‘The Sound of Music’ that asks “How do we solve a problem like Maria?” this song springs to my mind as I sit down to write this article but the lyrics in my head are very different, how do you solve a problem like homophobia? Yes we have come on leaps and bounds with the LGB&T struggle for equality and we’re almost there with same-sex marriage looking like its not that far on the horizon. It is in this atmosphere of change that I am sad to remind everyone that discrimination and homophobic discrimination is still rearing its ugly head even in today’s 21st century apparently accepting society.

Whilst we seem to be slowly making head way in combating homophobia and discrimination of homosexual persons in the so called ‘straight’ sector, we still face the far less acknowledged discrimination from within our own community. Only recently in my local city various groups of same sex couples were turned away from a gay owned and run drag show bar for quote “being gay, and it being door policy that no gays allowed” the same venue having previously hosted a Pride NOT Prejudice after party. The venue in question is named after two drag queens, one of which still works there and performs regularly, a bar that calls itself a premier club yet when it comes to being fair, proud of everyone and against prejudice it sadly falls short.

Why do gay people and gay run businesses still feel the need to hide their sexuality? Surely LGB&T persons should have the same rights as anyone else or is that just me being a dreamer? The above case is not however an isolated case, the owners of these bars seem to be afraid of getting the reputation of being a ‘gay bar’ yet they still portray themselves as a ‘gay bar’ in all but name and are less afraid of being portrayed as a homophobic bar, they seem afraid of offending their high spending premier heterosexual custom base but see no problem in offending the equally high spending LGB&T community. Surely they know what they’re doing is wrong, but frankly whilst the money is still coming in for them they simply don’t care morally or legally what they do and who they discriminate against.

I’ll leave you with this thought; do you think a venue would be able to refuse someone because of the colour of their skin, their weight or even their hair colour?? It’s a throw back to the dark ages when pubs used to have signs saying “No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish” except it now reads “No Gays!” Lets work together to identify and deal with any homophobic discrimination from within our community and nip it in the bud, there is simply no place for this behaviour anymore, speak out and lets be heard!

Categories: Features

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