In Cork, Ireland, Chambers Bar has long been heralded as a cherished LGBTQ+ safe space. However, recent actions by the bar have prompted outrage among its LGBTQ+ customers. Here’s what happened.
Chambers Bar, known as the “favorite haunt of the LGBTQI+ community,” was at the center of controversy when it made several decisions ahead of the university freshers’ week.
The Bar Removed Pride Flags
The most visible change was the removal of Pride flags and memorabilia that had adorned the bar for nearly two decades.
Drag Shows Were Postponed
Plus, the bar postponed its regular drag shows for several weeks, leaving many drag performers, who had become beloved fixtures at Chambers, deeply worried.
In a collective Instagram post, several of the club’s regular drag performers expressed disappointment and disapproval of these recent changes.
The post read, “We have enjoyed performing in a venue in the heart of Cork city for many years.”
Removal of All Traces of a Safe Space
“Changes have been made this week that we are all not comfortable with. We were not made aware in advance of these changes to accommodate the coming ‘freshers’ week. The removal of all traces of your beloved LGBTQIA+ safe space is simply appalling, and we refuse to accept this,” the performers wrote in the post.
A Drag Performer Shared Their Thoughts
Mia Gold, a performer, in a separate Instagram video, explained that the ‘Sinners’ event was not a new occurrence but had been a part of the venue’s schedule for many years.
She said, “Freshers week is not only for straight people.”
No Safe Space
“We all know that there are a lot more students from the community that would like to enjoy [nightlife], you know, that come from all around Ireland to Cork to study for a long period of time. They would like to have a nice night out in a safe space,” she added.
Removing Gay People
Krystal Queer, another performer, went a step further and accused the bar of not only removing LGBTQ+ history and support but also “removing the literally gay people who work there.”
Income Had Been Slashed
“My main source of income had been slashed in the blink of an eye with no compassion and no notice,” she added.
The Only LGBTQ+ Bar
What has particularly stoked the controversy is that Chambers Bar is the only LGBTQ+ bar in Cork, making it a vital hub for the local LGBTQ+ community.
Cork Pride, an organization dedicated to promoting LGBTQ+ rights, issued a statement condemning Chambers Bar’s actions.
They expressed their concern and disappointment with the bar’s decision, saying, “They have chosen to completely erase any semblance of being an LGBT+ focused venue.”
Disregards the Talented Queens
“This decision blatantly disregards the talented queens who grace their stage and the LGBT+ community they target for their business,” they added.
Twitter Users Expressed Their Views
Several social media users shared their thoughts on the incident.
One user wrote, “It’d be nice if people stopped trying to erase us for bigots’ comfort.”
Who They Value
Another user added, “They rejected the entire LGBT community and made it clear who they value.”
A third user commented, “They think flags are good for biz? How many customers will never darken your door?”
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Source: The Pink News