That was the message a friend who I shall refer to as Davy, because he’s called David, (and I) got last night in a Belfast city centre bar.
For more years than I care to remember I have been happy to afford the Queens Café Bar in the Queens Arcade in Belfast my patronage and money. Never again.
It was always a bar which I had considered to be more enlightened and forward thinking than many of its contemporaries in and around Belfast city centre and beyond. It was always central point where Belfast’s gay community could meet and socialize openly. Even throughout the darkest days of the Troubles™ it was a focal point for the then pariah gay community. Those with less enlightened anti gay tendencies simply avoided the place, drank elsewhere and made fun of the supposed aptness of the bar name.
Personally I’ve never had any issues whatsoever with gay people. I’ve always considered their social demonization and victimization to be an affront to common decency and a neanderthal attitude / approach to a persons right to express and practice their sexuality driven, in the main, by an unhealthy belief in or adherence to a fairy (no pun intended) tale written to record the supposed musings / teachings of an invisible flying spaghetti monster. There, I said it.
Last evening Davy and I arranged to meet in the Queens café bar for a few social drinks after work. At roughly six o’clock the badly worded flyer below was circulated throughout the bar advising all in attendance that the bar had been booked for a private party .
At roughly a quarter past seven guests of the party started arriving. There was nobody doing the door and no tickets were in evidence. As far as could be made out it appeared to be an open door free for all policy (as long as you were assumed to be “the right type”).
By Seven forty-five the bar was relatively packed and buzzing.
Davy went to the bar to order what would have been our two last shorts for the road before moving on only to be told by a member of staff that he wouldn’t be served because he wasn’t gay. Yes, you read that right. Not because last orders had already been called, not because there was only fifteen minutes left before we would have been required to leave, not because the staff member was working on the assumption that my friend and I hadn’t been invited to the ticketless non admission managed party (we could have been early arrivals who had decided to stay in town after work rather than rushing home to get changed etc) but simply because the individual behind the bar had determined that my friend, who incidentally had never drank in the Queens Café Bar previously, was “not gay”.
What in thundering blue fuck is the world coming to? Have we learned nothing?
Is heterophobia really the way forward towards a truly equal, democratic, understanding and just society? I, personally, don’t think so.
Come on gay people, you ought to be better and bigger than that.
You, if anyone, should be stoic and steadfast in your opposition to this “positive discrimination” in all and any of its forms wherever and whenever it should present itself as some sort of revenge retribution for the bigotry and injustices which you have suffered and endured.
Imposing the same injustices, blind bigotry, social exclusion and discrimination visited upon you over the past millenia on straight people is not the answer.
Setting aside the fairytale nature of the flying spaghetti monster’s book, there is at least one truth we can take from it – An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.
As for the Queens café bar member of staff who started this….You, sir, can suck my cock.