By Hannah Mason – Editor-In-Chief
With the recent “Queer Lounge” event taking place in Cameo & Vinyl nightclub and its recent coverage in Pluto’s news section, it became a catalyst for debate among students. “Queer Lounge” plays a part in the nightclub’s monthly LGBT nights and this particular one was advertised as being exclusive to only the LGBT community. This raised a question Pluto wanted to ask students – should nightclubs have exclusive liberation nights?
Richie Poliakovas, a 1st year Art student, told us how “the name [of the night] doesn’t bother me at all, but because it’s LGBT only, I wouldn’t go there because all my friends are straight, so it would be no fun for me. Plus I always hated when clubs do something like “Gay only”, “Straight only.”
Personally, I agree with Richie on the fact that, what if you were the only LGBT person of your friendship group? It creates the questions of, does this enforce self-segregation? Or is it offering the LGBT community the chance to break out and mix more within their own community? Either way it could be suggested this is somehow another form of isolation.
There are more students who agree with Richie, for example, this second year student, “I don’t really agree. I think that if a location has the market for it and they are needed in that area then yes they should happen but they shouldn’t be seen as segregation for straight people and non LGBT nights shouldn’t be segregating the LGBT community from the rest of society.” This student asked Pluto to remain anonymous.
There are however, some UCLan students who show a really positive attitude towards liberation exclusive nights. Such as Women’s Representative, Chloe Knowles, “I really like this- as a member of the LGBTQA* community I feel it’s really important to have things specially for them, I think the only issue I have is every single LGBT event I’ve seen is always surrounding alcohol, and there’s no other way LGBT communities can mix because there isn’t any other spaces for them? If you feel what I mean.”
Another student seems to back up Chloe’s opinion, again wishing to remain anonymous, “in terms it being LGBT focused, I don’t think there’s a problem. Maybe traffic light parties should be tarnished for their lack of inclusiveness towards asexuality? As a Masters student and someone without many gay friends I don’t think this is right that these events stop. Gay nights are there for those who need them.”
Chloe raises a good point about alcohol playing a key part in LGBT events. If you think of celebrations like Pride, which began originally as a campaign and protest, it seems to have turned into one giant piss up in modern times. Fortunately, society does seem supportive of the LGBT community, especially places like University’s which often come with LGBT Society groups for students to join. As well as usually having a Students’ Union representative to share the voice of that particular group of students. Here at UCLan we have both an LGB representative as well as a Trans rep, showing we fully support the community.
The student raising the question of other style events showing a lack of inclusivity towards asexuality, makes me wonder – will we ever get it right? Are we ever going to be able to put on an event or have a social group which is welcoming and perfect for everyone?
Second year Business student and School of Business School President, James Hofstetter, brought another viewpoint into the mix saying, “the fact it says that it’s an exclusive LGBT night, is a bit wrong, it’s like saying, we can’t club anywhere else because we’re gay so we have to club with you and be thankful for it.” James’ thoughts become another catalyst to create another question to ask – are nightclubs taking advantage of liberation? I understand that may be a big question to ask, but it could be an important one.
I think this is a topic that could be talked about forever and one which will always create more debate and even more questions to ask. Liberation and inclusivity will always be an on-going battle for groups who may be different to others. One can only hope, that somehow one day people won’t need to fight for liberation but instead everyone will become an acceptance to one another. Then we can all share the same nightclub!