CHENNAI: In another case of discrimination against LGBTQIA+ community, a popular Chennai pub in T Nagar barred a gay couple from entering the premises on Saturday. Interestingly, the pub named ‘Dank’ had claimed in their website to be LGBTQIA+ friendly.
Speaking about the incident, IT professional Sri Krishna (27) who visited the pub with his partner on Saturday said he’s exhausted dealing with homophobic pubs and bars in Chennai.
“On Saturday, I called Dank and enquired if we were allowed. They said the place is queer-friendly. However, when we reached the place, we were humiliated and isolated by the employees and by the owner of the pub,” claims Krishna.
Speaking further, Krishna said that Zomato and Google also mentioned the T Nagar pub to be queer-friendly, which allowed men to visit during the weekends. “When we reached the pub, the bouncer outside the pub said stag entry is not allowed. When we told him that we were a couple, the bouncer replied that boy-boy couples are not allowed. Only girl-girl couples are permitted,” added Krishna.
Krishna who has visited several pubs in the city says this is common. “Allowing only women couples from the LGBTQIA+ community is sexist. The government and Chennai Corporation should intervene and roll out guidelines at the earliest. Making Chennai queer-friendly and inclusive is imperative,” he avers.
In an official statement with DT Next, the Dank pub said, “All our customers are equal and of utmost importance to us. We at Dank do not believe in the concept of bias towards anyone, irrespective of the status. We do impose certain restrictions on entry or the number of customers we accommodate on busy evenings, largely on a reservation or first come, first served basis, in an effort to not compromise on our promise of Dank experience. This also applies to any and all customers without bias,” read the statement.
Meanwhile it is important to note that in June 2021, the Madras High Court rolled out a set of guidelines against discrimination of LGBTQIA+ members, following which the court in September 2021 also ordered action against police personnel who harass the community members.