Read: First they came for the guys in heels

Guy in heels

You have to choose your battles wisely; I was steering clear of this one because I loathe the night, but…

My experience of the main dance floor at XXL recalls the United States pre-1968: a white beardie hardcore dominates with an interest only in each other. Black visitors tend toward the back, and then there is a sort of twinky crowd lining the wall. This is the scenario that many core members want to protect.

This Saturday night should be interesting: the popular weekend staple is set to be the scene of protests because the owner, apparently, got trolled online to the extent that he spewed the most shocking diatribe against gay men who were not typical of his core audience, which is to say, white, masculine beardies. MASC 4 MASC, I believe they call themselves.

The proprietor in question has since issued a retraction filled with excuses and PR plugs. In response to his retraction there were many “good on you mate(s)!” from his core audience. I have no evidence myself, but I have heard rumours of door staff roughing up a guy in heels, and banning gay muslims from the club – how does that work exactly?

Sadly, if true, it is unsurprising, especially living in a period where people feel able to be as nasty, superficial and bigoted as they want to be. I’ve also been thrown out of two Vauxhall clubs for suspected dealing this summer. Yes. If a Black man walks into a gay club with confidence it unnerves dealers, especially if the walkers in know a lot of people. So the dealers tell the door staff that you’re on their turf, bouncers believe them – over the black guy – and march you out. Nice. And then a club like Heaven, for example, has been breathalysing black men, of late, and refusing them entry. I know because it happened to me. My white friend was waved in and I was sent packing. I shouted, “This is some racist bullshit.” The bouncer said, “Yeah. Whatever.”

And that is where we are now. Far right slurry is lapping at the throats of the mainstream and it is newly fashionable to be a bigot: Bannon on tour, Farage for London mayor, Trump in the White House, Boris in print and in government, Free Tommy Robinson, and so on. This is not a drill! This is red alert, and authoritarians come for anybody who isn’t a WASPM or a handmaid. To quote a tsunami of twenty-first century activists, Wake up!

I had a sense that this Saturday could be one of the busiest nights ever at the controversial Saturday club night, and I’ve just read a post encouraging that, making a mockery of the “PC police.” I think it’s tragic to see protest publicly mocked in this way by pink pounders. A gay man gets refused entry for wearing high heels, and people, in essence, proudly declare that they don’t care. Let’s party!

Horrifying how casual members of a community can be at the mistreatment of one of their own, as horrifying as that moment when you first come out and discover that gay men are far, far from enlightened. This is immensely disheartening at a point where a proprietor who makes a mint from gay preening, pink pounds and dark room shenanigans, needs to do right by the community that he exploits – sorry – serves, and be on the receiving end of a good telling off.

First they came for the gays in heels . . .


DM

David McAlmont

@davidmcalmont