Okay I apologise for what is about to be yet another rant of a post but I have been through a range of emotions in the last 12 hours.
Yesterday was Jason’s birthday and so we were celebrating! I baked him a cake, we got him presents, and drinking started early afternoon – note to self: don’t play the Grey’s Anatomy drinking game with anything filling.
Showers were had, we donned our gladrags, faces were made up, and I actually put in contact lenses! We drank over dinner before heading to a few pubs, and we were making sure Jason was having a good few drinks along the way. Another thing to note is tipsy me cannot cope with Jason when drunk. He shouts, asks questions, and doesn’t listen to anything you say – even if you’re answering his question! Anyway, that’s not the point.
We piled into three taxis. Jason and I were in the second one with 4 others, and we were on route to Polo – the one club I actually like. It’s the better of Glasgow’s two gay clubs. The music’s better, drink are cheap, the staff are polite, and it’s somewhere I feel relaxed and can actually cope with crowds of people! The taxi pulled up, we jumped out, showed ID, had a quick handbag search, and went to pay the entry – £6 isn’t bad for a Friday night out in Glasgow! Normally we go on Wednesdays so we weren’t sure what the cost would be. Jason and I bumped into someone we knew from LGBTQ+ while queuing for cloak room, and we had a great chat! After we’d gained our tickets it was time to buy a drink. It was then I realised the first taxi hadn’t arrived yet, and the place was practically empty.
I looked at my phone to see 7 missed calls from Mary, and another couple from Hannah – what was going on? Well. Mary’s taxi had been the first to leave, and there were 5 of them in it. As they approached the bouncer, they were asked how many of them there were. On replying 5, they were immediately told to go elsewhere as they were too big a group. No ID checks, no one was drunk, a simple “there are too many of you” and that was it, no budging. At this point, Mary started trying to phone me. While I was happily chatting to our random friend, the 3rd taxi pulled up with the 4 remaining friends. Again, before they could even get their ID out of their bags they were told no. By this stage, I had called Mary back to see what was going on. Jason and his boyfriend (did I mention Jason has a boyfriend?) went out to see what they could do or what was being said. It was then repeated to them that there was too big a group (okay so now there were 9 people waiting to get in) and that “they weren’t regulars”. Without actually coming out and saying it, the bouncer basically was saying no to our friends because they were straight.
I know it seems I get angry about a lot of things, and I fly off the handle over the simplest of matters, but this made my blood boil. They aren’t regulars? Neither am I – I go maybe 3/4 times a year. They were too big a group? Nah, we’d got in just minutes before them as a group of 6 so that couldn’t be right either. Jason was the only person off his face and he got in no problem. And considering he’s the youngest out of us all and we were out for his 20th birthday, we knew we had no problem with ID. This left only one possible reason, and unfortunately it’s not the first we’d heard of it, but Polo were denying entry to people because they looked straight.
Now imagine if a gay person was denied entry to a club for looking camp or flamboyant. There would be outcry! We were fuming. Jason had returned to tell us what was happening and I was shaking I was that angry. Not only were my friends being discriminated against for being straight, but it was also implied I look queer. Now there’s nothing wrong with “looking queer”, I never meant that. But there is no real definition of queer so how can you judge whether someone identifies as LGBTQ+ simply by their looks? I may be a lesbian but I don’t think I look like someone who identifies as a lesbian. Do we have a certain look or something? Who knows.
Furious, we waited to hear where the others had managed to get in to and we grabbed our coats to leave. As we walked out the door, I zipped up my coat and asked Jason “Where are we going, Kokomo?” and he replied “Yup, where they let straight people in”. We were having a discussion. We weren’t causing problems. Our statements weren’t said to offend or upset anyone. However, one of the bouncers felt the need to reply with “Don’t be a dick”.
What sort of service is that? Who would even? I was furious. There’s a certain word that I’m sure many of you know that begins with C and I can honestly say that between 11:30pm last night and 4:30am this morning, I have used that word 7 times to describe Polo and their staff.
Hannah, one of our friends in the last taxi, messaged Polo’s official Facebook page (privately) to state how disappointed she was that a community that prides itself on equality for all and inclusion had excluded her because of her sexuality. She got a reply back saying that their policy is only to turn away people based on sobriety and ID problems and that they were sorry she felt her sexuality had had her excluded but this was against their policy to exclude people based on their sexuality.
I’m sorry but that’s complete bull. We have heard so many incidents of people not getting in because they were too straight, and it’s just not on.
I don’t enjoy clubbing. Never really have. But Polo was the one place I felt comfortable and enjoyed going. However after the way my friends and I were treated tonight, I will not be back. I’m officially done with clubs and club nights. I will attempt to go out to clubs for other birthdays if I have to, but I have now lost the one club that made me feel accepted. And for that reason, I went to bed feeling extremely disappointed.