A gay man, who was attending a gig in a well-known music venue in Dublin, has detailed his horrific experience of homophobia followed by what he says is a lack of protection by bouncers.
Eoghan Ryder said that he got chatting to a guy and they ended up kissing on the dancefloor. Shortly afterwards he alleges that he was approached by a man who told them to “stop kissing because we are making him and everyone else uncomfortable”.
“I thought he was joking at first so I actually giggled, waiting for him to break and tell me he was messing… nope, he was deadly serious. He said, and I quote: ‘we should do that in the bathrooms, out of sight of others, where we belong’. I nearly died from both embarrassment and anger that someone would have the gaul to actually go up to two people enjoying an innocent kiss in a club and say that,” Ryder wrote in the post.
Following the incident, Eoghan went to security to tell them what had happened. Bouncers brought the man in question outside briefly but he was allowed back in soon afterwards.
Ryder went back to security to ask why he was allowed back in saying that his presence was making them uncomfortable. Ryder alleges that he was told by bouncers “they couldn’t do anything without proof because ‘homophobia isn’t a crime in Ireland’.
“I felt sick at this point, and totally disappointed, so I argued that if the guy had been racist or misogynistic, they wouldn’t question it.”
Ryder says that they didn’t seem to care much but one of the members of security kept an eye on Ryder and his friends for the rest of the evening.
“We also had several other people in the club come up to us and say how disgusted they were by the homophobic guy’s continued presence so we knew we weren’t alone in our anger and frustration.”
At the end of the night, Ryder was recounting events to friends of friends while queuing for the cloakroom when he says a friend of the man who was making homophobic comments approached them and punched one of Ryder’s acquaintances in the face.
“I couldn’t believe that this had happened so I ran after this guy and shouted at the bouncers to do something and they all just shrugged at me with uninterest. Not only did they do absolutely nothing about homophobia but they allowed someone to be punched in the face for no reason… completely unacceptable and a total disgrace.”
Following the incident, Ryder is calling on the venue to adopt a zero-tolerance policy that includes protections for the LGBT+ community.
“There may not be hate crime legislation in this country but there are venues with zero tolerance policies that they take very seriously and given how many queer events and gigs take place in the [venue], they should be doubling down on this kind of thing. I was completely let down and cast aside by the bouncers of this venue, as was the guy I was kissing and the acquaintance who got punched in the face.
“I’ve faced homophobia many times before but this incident has really irked me as it reminded me of the fact that queer people are still on the fringes of society and always will be, once homophobia is allowed to run rampant and unchallenged by those in charge.”
Ryder said following the incident, the manager of the venue contacted him and apologised profusely.
In a statement, the venue in question denies the claims that were made in relation to the bouncer’s comments:
“We are still in the process of piecing together what really happened as there is always 2 sides to every story. We as a venue are really disappointed with some of the comments making the rounds in the social media, comments that are further from the truth. As a venue, we have zero tolerance to all forms of discrimination. We always pride ourselves for the long relationship we enjoy with the LGBTQ community for the last 20 years or so. The comments that our security told a punter that homophobia is not a crime in Ireland is not factual.”
The venue did not immediately respond to GCN’s request for a statement.
If you are the victim of a homophobic, biphobic or transphobic hate crime, The Call it Out website provides specific advice on reporting hate crime after the fact.
If you were affected by any of the issues highlighted in this article you can reach out to the following:
T: 1890 929 539 | W: www.lgbt.ie
TENI Helpline (Transgender Support)
T: 085 147 7166 | W: www.teni.ie
T: 01-872 1055 | W: www.gayswitchbaord.ie
Dublin Rape Crisis Centre
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