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Man demands refund after NYE is ‘ruined’ by men kissing at queer party

Ella Braidwood January 3, 2019
Indian LGBT+ people enjoy a queer party at the 'Kitty Su' nightclub in the Lalit Hotel in New Delhi.

The queer party Push The Button's "Huge NYE Party 2018" was held at Popworld in east London on December 31. (Noemi Cassanelli/AFP/Getty)

A man has demanded a refund after he saw two men kissing at a queer-run New Year’s Eve party, which he had bought himself and his girlfriend tickets for.

The man, known only by his first name Stuart, emailed queer-run club night Push The Button to vent his anger over its “Huge NYE Party 2018” event at Popworld, central London, which he said was “turned into a gay evening.”

Rob Holley, a promoter and DJ at Push The Button, posted screenshots of his exchange with Stuart on Twitter on Thursday (January 3).

In the conversation, Stuart claimed he and his girlfriend “ended up having to leave before midnight” because the “event was a GBLT [sic] evening and this was not advertised on the website.”

Stuart claims queer-run Push The Button’s party was “turned into a gay evening”

Holley posted a photo of his responses to Stuart, in which the DJ pointed out that Push The Button has been running for eight years with the same LGBT+ inclusive policy.

“I am not homophobic, but…”

—Disgruntled New Year’s Eve partygoer Stuart

On the Eventbrite page for Push The Button’s Huge NYE Party it states: “Push The Button is queer-run and welcomes respectful music lovers of all genders and sexualities.”

Stuart, however, was dissatisfied with Holley’s reply, instead arguing that he and his girlfriend should be given a refund.

Push The Button email exchange
Holley posted screenshots of his exchange with Stuart on Twitter. (robholley/Twitter)

“I am not homophobic, but, ” insisted Stuart, “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.”

Stuart said he had visited Popworld a “number of times” with his girlfriend and “did not expect to made to feel uncomfortable [sic].”

Stuart demands a “full refund” after seeing men kissing at queer-run party

Holley posted another photo of his reply to Stuart, re-iterating Push The Button’s LGBT+ inclusive policy, while adding: “I’m sorry that you missed this info but plenty of mixed couples attend and enjoy our regular nights.

“We often get people bellyaching over the lack of Kylie or why we chose not to play the new Loreen track, but in our 8 years we’ve not once had anyone complain that they felt uncomfortable because of their sexuality.”

Holley then asked Stuart to explain “specifically what it was about the evening that made you and your girlfriend feel uncomfortable.”

Stuart again claimed that it “certainly [was] not clear that it was LBGT” when he booked the tickets on Eventbrite because, if it had been, then he “would not have booker at the venue [sic].”

He added: “I have no desire to see men kissing each other and neither did my partner.”

Holley responded to Stuart by saying Push The Button would donate £50 to Stonewall instead of refunding the tickets, explaining: “Clearly there’s more work to do.”

“It’s been a timely reminder that there’s a still a long way to go before society is inclusive by default.”

—Push The Button promoter Rob Holley

The exchange finished with Stuart calling Holley an “ignorant individual with no empathy.”

The promoter smoothly hit back: “Thanks for the suggestions, Stuart.

“We’ll be sure to wear pink triangles for your benefit too.”

On its Facebook page, Push The Button includes a review excerpt from Gay Times Magazine, which states: “London’s best night out.”

Push The Button regularly hosts club nights at London’s historic gay pub the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

Speaking to PinkNews about the incident, Holley explained that he has seen similar responses at other queer-hosted events in the past.

“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,” said Holley.

“This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in a queer space.

“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.”

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