Temperance locks queers out in the rain
Friday, 29 August 2008, 9:49 am
Press Release: Radical Queers
29 August 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"Not in our bar- but we won't say why": Temperance locks queers out in the rain
A group of 30 queers and supporters, many in drag, frocked up to The Temperance Bar on Blair Street on Saturday night, only to be denied entry before the entire group had even walked down the street. Their purpose was to create visibility and show support within Courtenay Place nightlife for those groups in society who challenge heteronormative gender roles. "We chose The Temperance bar because of reports of homophobic comments directed at drag queens earlier this month, during their forcible removal from the venue, but our main aim as a group is of course to create more freedom for all sorts of gender expression in public places," says Radical Queer Rachael Wright.
"The management gave no reason for refusing us entry, and did not deign to meet with us during the protest. They also claimed to be busy with a private function, though our friends inside the bar saw no evidence of this. We will be talking to management and making it very clear that any institutional homophobia will be challenged," says fellow Radical Queer Gretel Geschtufft. "Of course any establishment is entitled to its right of refusal, but no reasons were given, no explanation was offered, and there certainly was room for us inside their 3-story bar. The whole thing felt like a stop-gap measure to keep us out using any means necessary."
There was a strong police presence at the drag-in, as the crowd decided to occupy the sidewalk outside the bar for around 30 minutes after being refused entry, informing patrons that The Temperance was not a queer-friendly place. However, there were no violent incidents, arrests, or confrontations with police. There was some public support in evidence, and a few people who even decided that if the group wasn't allowed in, then they didn't want to go in either.
"Anyone who wants to be kept up to date with our progress on this, as well as any further actions we plan should send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, we're always excited to get more people involved in what's shaping up to be a very active and exciting group of people," says the group secretary Bobby Soxxx.