Brighton: Vodka Revolution bar accused of refusing entry to man with Student Pride sticker

March 5, 2013
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A PinkNews reader says he was refused entry to a Vodka Revolution bar in Brighton, by a bouncer who demanded that he remove his “disgusting” Student Pride 2013 sticker.

Matthew O’Leary said he had attended the Student Pride event in Brighton on Saturday 2 March, as he does every year when the annual event is on.

“Being in an environment full of people like you, gives you a certain kind of happiness that can only come from being accepted by every peer around you,” he said to of the Student Pride celebrations.

However, when he tried to enter the Vodka Revolution bar on Brighton’s West Street after Student Pride’s day time activities he claims he was stopped by a bouncer who said: “Take that disgusting thing off.”

When Mr O’Leary asked what he meant, the bouncer aggressively pointed to a sticker he was wearing with “Student Pride 13” on it.

“Without thinking” he removed the sticker, and was let in by the bouncer, who made the unfounded accusation that he was drunk.

Mr O’Leary told that he had “never encountered any form of homophobia” before, and found the bouncer’s treatment shocking.

“It completely crushed my day,” he said to

“I left pride feeling positive about the future of LGBT people, only to have my pride swept from beneath me. I felt the same shame I felt as a teenager realising I was gay. Not the shame of being gay, but the shame of realising other people could have a problem with me and stop me being who I am.”

He added that the altercation demonstrated the need for Student Pride and other solidarity events to combat “suppressors” of LGBT rights.

Vodka Revolution’s head office said they had received a complaint from Mr O’Leary and that staff would have investigated within 24 hours.

Staff at the Brighton bar where the incident took place could not be reached for comment.

Student Pride this year included a panel with rugby star and equal rights advocate Ben Cohen and John Amaechi, the openly gay former NBA player, who said sports were the “last bastion” of homophobia.

More: bouncer, Brighton, England, student pride

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