LGB Alliance launch causes rift in Glasgow

Published

Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Monica Helms

Laurie Clarke
Production Manager

Glasgow businesses have been subject to divisive criticism following the launch party of organisation LGB Alliance. The event was hosted in Oran Mor last night and the Byres Road pub has since received numerous calls to boycott.

Following the event, a member of the party was then allegedly ejected from LGBT+ club Polo Lounge following complaints regarding her LGB Alliance t-shirt.

The woman explained the situation in a video uploaded to Twitter last night:

“I was just kicked out of Polo because I wouldn’t reverse my t-shirt. I literally was just taken into a cupboard and they started filming me after they told me that I had to turn my t-shirt inside out because there had been so many complaints from trans people.

“I should have put my camera on but they just kicked me out the back door without my stuff, without my jacket, without my keys or anything. They were saying ‘we’ll go and get your friend and we’ll get your stuff’. They actually started recording after they told me about all these trans people doing complaints about my t-shirt – multiple complaints. They literally took me into a fire escape with no CCTV or anything like that.

“Wow, that was really surreal and I was too blasted to switch on my camera or anything because they were like ‘Oh it’s nothing to worry about, just come with us.’ So they took me into a little cupboard thing and I said there’s no CCTV here and their camera wasn’t even recording. He doesn’t switch it on until the end of the conversation and then acts like I’m being difficult.

“So this is Polo club in Glasgow and I’ve just been to the LGB Alliance and I’ve been just removed because trans people who I didn’t even see are saying that I am threatening them or something. So I said ‘Why don’t I have the right to support Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals but they’ve got some weird ultimate power where they can get me kicked out of a club because they don’t like an acronym on a t-shirt?’ So they had no good answer for it. They just said you’re going to have to leave if you don’t turn your t-shirt inside out.”

At the time of writing the video has been viewed over 190k times and has received comments of support and criticism.

Following the incident, other LGBT+ businesses took to Twitter to share their support for the transgender community. LGBT+ bookshop Category is Books tweeted the complaint information for Oran Mor with the hashtag “Trans is Beautiful” and Lucky Sparrow Games Cafe stated: “It is incredibly disappointing to see another Glasgow venue hosting the transphobic hate group LGB alliance tonight.”

The Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Alliance was formed by members of historic LGBT+ charity Stonewall over dispute on their stance on transgender issues. The group was first subject to criticism in October 2019 for its exclusion of the transgender community. The LGB Alliance describes its aim as to “advance the interests of LGB people – which we see as being in danger right now. We believe that attempts to introduce confusion between biological sex and the notion of gender are harming LGB people.”

One Twitter user shared the video, stating: “Clearly, lesbians, gays and bisexuals are no longer welcome in ‘LGBTQ+’ spaces.”

When asked for comment, Madeleine McKernan, president of GULGBTQ+, stated: “GULGBTQ+ are disappointed in the Oran Mor’s decision to host an anti-trans group. LGB alliance claim to represent same-sex attracted people’s rights, but trans people are not a threat to same-sex attracted people, or to anyone else. Many trans people are LGB themselves and have so often lead the fight for our collective rights. It is disappointing to see anyone in the LGBTQ+ community actively campaign against trans and nonbinary rights.

“But we are so happy to see a prominent LGBTQ+ Glasgow club supporting and protecting their trans patrons. It’s important that as a community we not let ourselves be divided, and this kind of response is really encouraging. It’s distressing for all of us in the community to see transphobia spread in Glasgow, and we hope people will follow in Polo’s footsteps and refuse to tolerate it.”

Polo Lounge and Oran Mor have yet to publicly address the situation but have been contacted for comment