“I am not homophobic, but this was not advertised on the website."
A straight Londoner asked for a refund after seeing "men kissing," at a New Year's Eve event, insisting that when he bought the tickets it wasn't clear the party would include LGBT people.
Rob Holley, a promoter and DJ at queer-owned Push The Button (PTB) in London, sent out a tweet thanking everyone who attended his NYE party at Popworld, saying his crew was still on a high from all the positivity.
That is until he received an email from a man only identified as Stuart who was at the event, but wanted a refund because it “turned into a gay evening.”
Stuart says he bought tickets, one for his girlfriend through Eventbrite for the party held in central London, reports Pink News.
According to Stuart in the correspondence, he wants the refund because they saw two men kissing and "ended up having to leave before midnight” because the “event was a GBLT [sic] evening and this was not advertised on the website.”
Holley took screenshots of the email chain along with his responses and posted them on Twitter. He told Stuart that PTB has been an all-inclusive venue for eight years.
The Eventbrite page describes Push The Button as "queer-run and welcomes respectful music lovers of all genders and sexualities.”
Undaunted, Stuart held firm on his position for getting his money back. “I am not homophobic, but, this was not advertised on the website.
“I would like a full refund as our NYE was ruined.
“We missed the countdown to new year and my girlfriend was very upset.”
He also claims he's been an avid visitor to Popworld and wasn't expecting to feel uncomfortable.
Holley reiterated the welcoming LGBT policy at PTB and that plenty of mixed couples enjoy their regular nights.
Wanting to know what exactly bothered Stuart, Holley asked, “specifically what it was about the evening that made you and your girlfriend feel uncomfortable.”
Stuart again claimed that it wasn't clear the clientele would be gay, “I have no desire to see men kissing each other and neither did my partner.”
Holley said in lieu of a refund, he would be donating the £50 to Stonewall, “Clearly there’s more work to do.”
Stuart then called the promoter an “ignorant individual with no empathy.”
To which Holley responded, “We’ll be sure to wear pink triangles for your benefit too.”
This isn't the first time someone has raised concern about a queer-hosted party Holley says, but Stuart's response annoyed him.
Holley explained to PinkNews, “He approached that email in entirely the wrong way—had he been even a fraction more friendly about the mix up, we might have considered a refund.”
“But it’s been a timely reminder that there’s a still a long way to go before society is inclusive by default.
“And it doesn’t dampen what we do at Push The Button—we’ll continue to throw parties for all our LGBTQ+ and straight mates.”