Reverse Homophobia

Have you ever been denied entry to a night club for “not looking gay”?
I have. Ha.
Let me tell you the story… promise, it’s fun.


My latest discovery in my new hometown is that, Monday nights mean nothing in London. Nothing at all. You will find just as many people going for after-work drinks on a Monday night as on a Friday. The city is crying out your name to claim your next hangover at the nearest pub.

… so I did. 

Last night, I went out with a few girl friends, as we decided to celebrate the joys of the holiday season and end-of-university-term. You see, after all the sleepless nights and hours spent on Photoshop, we figured it was our birth right to treat ourselves to a few cocktails. While the night was still young and we were five-too-many cocktails down, each, we ventured to a gay bar in Soho for a little boogie.

Now, the thing with gay bars is that they are bloody fun. Surely you’ve been to one? For those who haven’t – the music in gay bars takes you back to the ’90s, you’re surrounded by amazing dancers and there are no inhibitions on the dance floor. It’s like dancing in your living room with your best friends, except you’re in heels and a skanky dress.

With that in mind, and everyone’s wish to dance to Nicki Minaj, we went to G-A-Y (which Google tells me is UK’s number one gay bar). The bouncer checked all the girls’ IDs, looked at me and said,
“I can’t let you in, you don’t look gay”. I repeat, “you don’t look gay”

Errrr…. WHAT?

How does anyone look gay? Does it require for the person to have a tattoo of a penis/vagina inside a love heart on their face? Is there a club or a society that authorises someone’s homosexuality? No seriously, I want to know what he meant by that?

Now, I love me a good sausage, hence, i’m one hundred percent not gay. But how does that make me a threat in a gay bar, on a Monday night? Did I seem of the potential to pounce every dude inside the club? Or maybe they were recruiting lesbians-only for the single ladies inside? I actually don’t know because I WAS DENIED ENTRY.

Thanks to the double-tequila shot that was having a party in my brain, I didn’t punch his eyeballs out with an argument. But again, WTF!

This morning, I was trying to give a term to this discrimination and all I could come up with was – reverse homophobia. It’s the fear of a straight, single girl in a gay club.

I have to admit though, I’m a serious hater of homophobics. Hater! I never boil up until I meet someone who disses homosexuality and people’s right to love; the inner-Lara-Croft in me comes roaring out. Who makes these rules of who someone should love? Why does the society care if a man wants to wake up next to another man? It’s nobody’s business, really. So, this situation from last night made me a little happy that, for a change, straight people were being discriminated. But in this case, selfishly, I was being discriminated and that’s not OK.

Tell me Mr. Bouncer, how does me being straight ruin the anarchy of your club? No, please enlighten me, how are gay and lesbians meant to ‘look’? Is there a stereotype that we’re following here where certain attires, hairstyles and make-up techniques legitimates somebody’s choices in sexuality? With that in mind, only women in pants, a button-down shirt and cropped hair should be allowed to be tagged as lesbian, and a man with a pre-puberty voice, an amazing hairline and chinos should call himself gay. How about you take your conventional-thinking head out of your arse every now and then, Mr. Bouncer?

Damn you, seriously.

The only stereotype you should be allowed to have for a gay bar is rapping to Super Bass and doing the Single Ladies routine with a cute, topless gay dude who has a bow-tie around his neck.

My heart is broken. Thanks for shattering my dancing and singing dreams, you little shit.



One thought on “Reverse Homophobia

  1. As always this was really well written and although I respect the fact you recognise it was a novel concept to be straight and discriminated against (for a brief moment), this treatment against anyone in a gay bar is unacceptable. Let me explain why.

    I was 22, living in Brisbane, had just returned from a few months backpacking across South East Asia and I was 100% gay only I didn’t really know anyone who was a lesbian and I sure as hell didn’t fit the ‘stereotype.’

    I had a love affair with a girl on a motorbike through the beautiful scenery of Vietnam before returning to Brisbane which gave me a chance to explore this after FINALLY admitting it to myself. This is what happens when you are from a small town.

    So I constantly went to gay bars, the two that existed in Brisbane, but I was constantly asked by security or other party goers if I was lost. A little bit of my gay spirit died on the inside everytime and as a result the gay community made me feel unwelcome while I knew this part of me was going to be difficult for my family.

    Part of me being so proud of being who I am is that I haven’t felt the need to identify my image into a gay stereotype which is overwhelmingly expected when you ‘enter’ the gay world. Hence the ‘you don’t look gay’ entry refusal.

    Gay is about acceptance and love and as many of us still strive for equal rights I really hope the gay community can understand that. By not accepting someone based on their apparent sexual orientation my community is doing exactly what the ‘straight’ community did and is still, in some cases, doing to LGBTIQ people around the world (hello Russia).

    Straight friends are our allies and if,
    by chance, homophobic straight people come into a gay bar, try talking to them like a human being instead of screaming at them. Educate don’t segregate and if all rational discussion doesn’t work than label them a homophobe and a sad part of life but understand it’s not you whose the problem. Walk away knowing you engaged in an informative discussion and you’ll be surprised of the impact this has.

    I feel being a lesbian living in places where it isn’t very ‘common’ gives me the ability to have these conversations and help people understand the truth behind the stereotype. I feel we, along with our straight allies, need to be above discriminating against others and need to be accepting and open to discussion rather than fighting. Hatred only spreads more hatred and although its exhausting to be regularly asked ‘how lesbians have sex’ which is inevitable in these conversations, it is better than someone who has never been exposed to the gay world perpetuating their views onto others or worse their children.

    The moral of this story is how do we as the gay community expect to be accepted without discrimination into the ‘straight’ world if we treat people with the same discrimination. Maybe that homophobe is actually gay or maybe that girl in a dress and heels is desperately trying to kiss a woman and is certain she isn’t lost. Buy them a drink, have a conversation and maybe you’ll get a date.

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