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Manchester LGBTQ venues accused of racism ahead of Pride weekend celebrations

"Unless you’re white, you’re labelled, you’re looked at badly, and you’re judged."

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Pexels and Wiki Commons

Several of Manchester’s LGBTQ venues have been accused of racism after 10 people have spoken about their experiences with discrimination in the ‘Gay Capital of the North’.

Among the allegations are people being called racist slurs by members of staff and other patrons as well as being denied entry to spaces. Reports also indicate that incidents have been happening very recently as well as over the last few years and even further back.

The claims made in Vice World News‘ report come from 10 Black, Asian, and Latinx members of the LGBTQ people.

Manchester Pride, 2010 (Photo: Wiki Commons)

One of them, Lucky Roy Singh, says on 29 July 2022 that they were told to “get out” and called a “p***” by a security guard at Via on Manchester’s famous Canal Street. They’ve also posted about the incident on Instagram (see below)

They say they were with the LGBTQ collective, the House of Spice, when they were made to feel uncomfortable by staff before a security guard approached them to tell one of the group to put their top back on having taken it off. 

The aforementioned slur was used once the situation became tempered and the group left shortly after, Singh tells Vice. Singh also says they reported the incident as a hate crime to Greater Manchester Police, which has told Vice they are investigating. 

Via has declined to comment to Vice.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lucky Roy Singh #QUEEN (@luckyroysingh)

Other instances mentioned include patrons using the N-word, people being lied to and told nights were ‘member-only’ events when they were confirmed not to be by venue staff, and further racist comments and slurs.

57-year-old Darren Jackson, tells Vice he’s frequently experienced racism in the Gay Village. “Unless you’re white, you’re labelled, you’re looked at badly, and you’re judged.” He says he’s lost faith in the police so hasn’t reported incidents. 

Chachu Huss from Manchester adds they’ve been left “hollow and filled with a mixture of shame and rage,” being subjected to racist slurs multiple times this year alone.

“We have had enough of having to accept racism in spaces and places that are for the queer people of colour community too. The Village has to change and we won’t stop until it is genuinely inclusive,” they continue.

They’re calling on allies to “step up”. 

Darren Pritchard who was born and raised in Manchester and has organised events for Black queer people says he doesn’t go to the Gay Village “unless there’s a paycheque attached to the visit.”

“For me the biggest issue is the bouncers. It’s time for the security and bar staff to understand the powers they have. If someone’s being racist, they need to get kicked out, and if staff are racist, they should go too,” he tells Vice.

The claims come days before Manchester Pride this weekend. Vice approached Manchester Pride which it says “declined repeated opportunities to comment.”

Vice has also approached all the venues referred to by those it has spoken to and all have so far declined to comment. 

The Attitude September/October issue is out now.