He followed this up with:[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/JeremyJoseph/status/26248142718509056"]
Electroqueer picked up on this and made the case that lesbian and gay majority door policies are a problem – using an image to equate this to apartheid – and aren’t helping diversity and acceptance.
I really disagree. Firstly, the safe space argument: majority door policies still provide these. There are still lots of people who haven’t come out, and going to a gay club means that they can find a place where they can explore their sexuality in a comfortable environment. I think the need for this is diminishing more and more as younger people are becoming far more comfortable and tolerant of sexuality as a whole – but it really has not gone away.
But I think there is far more to the argument than simply a safe space, and this is why I think the comparison with apartheid shows a complete misrepresentation of the issue. Sexuality has an impact on your relationships with other people in a way that being a member of another minority group doesn’t have to. I fancy men, and therefore have an interest in finding other men that fancy men in order to form a romantic or sexual relationship. Different clubs have different purposes. There are many clubs that are all about the music – clubs like The 100 Club for example – and door policies based on sexuality should be completely irrelevant for that kind of venue. But for many people a night out is a way to meet someone; clubs like G-A-Y and Infernos are perfect examples of these.
The exact proportion of gay people in the general population is a matter of much debate, but I think we can all agree that it is under 10 per cent. This means that in even the nicest, most tolerant and accepting non-scene club, it can be very hard to meet other gay people. Not only do you have to worry if that other person might fancy you, you also have to work out if they even fancy people of your gender at all. We’ve all been in the situation where you’ve seen a cute guy on the bus or in the library, and wondered if you should say ‘hi’. Being in a gay club makes that a hell of a lot easier; it’s good to know that most of the people in there will be gay too.
I’ve heard people ask: how I would feel if a straight club turned away gay people. I don’t believe that argument is sound. ‘Straight’ clubs don’t need to turn away gay people in order to maintain a massive majority of straight people – you only need to have the policy when the group you want to favour are in a tiny minority.
Now, having said all this, I don’t think I can defend Jeremy Joseph’s tweets. LGB door policies shouldn’t be about elitism or saying that we’re special and that straight people aren’t. When clubs have the policies they should be explaining why they have them, not gloating about them. I’m also talking about majority policies. Not only would gay-only policies be illegal, but I don’t want to see all straight people banned from gay clubs. Many people want to bring a friend on their night out, and lots of people haven’t yet defined their sexuality. But I do want to go to a place where I know gay people will be in the majority. Polite, well explained door policies are the only way to do this.Read Dan’s response to this article ‘G-A-Y, don’t discriminate against the straights’