Over the weekend, news surfaced that the board and management of Alter Ego Entertainment had taken a decision to restrict men from attending their calendar event Planet Fierce. It is not immediately clear, whether the restrictions being imposed are intended to cover all Alter Ego events but the impositions are a direct result of incidences of violence committed by men at such gatherings. The restrictions being imposed are as follows:
1. Men will not be allowed to come to the event, unless specially invited
2. Men will not be permitted to enter the venue, unless specially invited
Whilst it is that restrictions one and two seem repetitive, it is necessarily so- as for too long sections of the community have used the physical space, that are party venues, to wage their drag wars, domestic disputes and gang violence. What is even more surprising is that during the early part of the decade with many of the original combatants migrating to the UK and Canada, it was expected that the issue would have been exported, and barring mass deportations, effectively dealt with. However, in their stead a new crop; which is younger, more assertive and indeed scarier has arisen. This is indicative that the violence is far more cultural and structural than first imagined.
Like Perseus in Greek mythology that killed the Gorgon by cutting of its head, the only way to effectively deal with an ugly and insidious problem is to CUT IT OFF. As such at PINK we agree and back the position that Alter Ego has taken on this matter.
We agree that the framework needs some refinement as there is the possibility that essentially good and decent men may be unfairly prevented from attending events, purely on the basis of background or lack of connections. Worse yet, the one event that PINK can recall an actual murder being committed at, was as a result of an altercation amongst women not men! As a consequence, the refinement process may necessarily need to address these issues.
At PINK we humbly propose to all Rainbow Event Promoters that a “BLOCK LIST” (note not Black List) be developed and become a shared resource. The administrative details concerning management of the list is an arrangement that can be worked out among the members of the Guild of Party Promoters.
In the final analysis the issue of internal community violence at Rainbow Events, is the single most important factor challenging the vibrancy and the very existence of a LGBT social scene. Indeed, it was only in February that because of a public fight at one event, a mob of angry villagers converged on another event at the same location. Further, it is the fighting and threats of violence that increases the cost of putting on an event and endangers the safety of “civilized” patrons as Alter Ego notes. As such PINK gives two big thumbs up to ALTER EGO for proactively seeking to deal with the problem.