Pavel Vacek, a UK based dancer, thought a gay nightclub would be the perfect place to practice dancing in heels, but received a rude awakening from unwelcoming door staff.
Vacek attends classes hosted by the Gay Men’s Dance Company, one of which had an upcoming theme of dancing in heels. Heading to London’s XXL gay clubnight, Vacek threw on leather boots with four inch heels along with a more ‘usual’ black jeans and tank top.
XXL lists itself as catering to the bear community, a fact the bouncer gave as the reason for refusing entry. Vacek told Gay Star News that even though there was no dress code listed on their website, the bouncer said “it was club policy that you can’t wear make-up, wigs, high heels or anything feminine. He said: ‘We don’t allow femininity’.”
While the majority of feedback Vacek has receive has been positive and supportive, some saw both sides of the story. If a club night is catering to a specific demographic, should club goers not then have an expectation of what’s in store before trying to enter? While the gay scene can be just as guilty of toxic masculinity as the straight scene, is it unfair to criticise club promoters for giving their customers what they want?
On the other hand, some argue femme-shaming is so rife on the gay male scene, with the whole ‘masc4masc’ mentality, should queers not object to the demonisation of feminine traits and demand inclusivity in our apparently diverse community?
Also quoted in the interview is Alex Scurr of the Gay Men’s Dance Company who said: “We are never going to get full equality or acceptance from those outside our community if we don’t first accept the people inside our community.”
With this bucket of worms being opened on attitudes in the gay scene, the organisers behind XXL have yet to issue a response.
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