If you happened to be scrolling through your social media feed over the last few days (well duh) you might have come across a post making some waves for all the wrong reasons. A post rehashing a particularly unpleasant (actually let’s call it what it is, discriminatory and downright awful) experience, which targeted a particular group of individuals as they tried to enter a popular Newcastle nightclub. I’m not going to name and shame here, as much as I want to (although I am 100% certain that someone will help me out in the comments section) but I will comment on the incident.
The long and the short of it is, a group of Newcastle Drag Queens, a staple of the queer community, were refused entry by a security officer as they did not comply with gender-specific dress standards. Wtf. As the details are revealed (shared widely on Facebook), things only get worse. At one point, the security guard allegedly inquired as to whether the patron was ‘dressed like that on his license’ in what I am assuming was some crude and unnecessary attempt to categorise the group of individuals as they entered the venue. Why? Is the question on mine and every other level-headed Novocastrian’s lips this week.
Personally, I think these dress standards are a load of bullshit, and as a lot of the Facebook comments pointed out, are rife with double standards. Sure, I get it, have dress standards but why the need to add the word gendered in front of the term? To me, it’s pretty much the equivalent of giving out blue beer glasses (cough sorry plastic cups) for boys and pink champagne flutes for girls. It’s 2018 people! Are we that internally fragile that we have to apply a construct to everything we do? But perhaps that’s beside the point.
I also want to take a moment to remind those who happen to be reading this article, about the recent changes made to what is now known as the Newcastle Hotel. The Gateway (RIP) was known and advertised as a LGBTQIA+ venue, for a reason. The current owners, however, saw no need for an exclusive LGBTQIA+ venue in Newcastle anymore, especially not in the inclusive society we all (apparently) live in, in 2018. I think the above incident hammers home the point I made back in February, better than any article ever could.
Some venues get it, Central Bar for example, who hosted the Drag event, as well as previously identified safe spaces around town, they get it. But some, unfortunately, do not. So… this is just a casual reminder that yes, it is in fact 2018, but discrimination it seems is still (very much) alive and well. More on this as the whole thing unfolds.
If it's on in Newcastle, it's on Newcastle Live