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‘Proud’ LGBT+ venue issues grovelling apology after ‘racially profiling’ African gay man

Lily Wakefield April 6, 2021
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The Oxford Hotel, an LGBT+ venue in Sydney, Australia

The Oxford Hotel, an LGBT+ venue in Sydney, Australia. (Getty/ Don Arnold)

A well-known Sydney LGBT+ venue has admitted that “racial profiling” played a part in its staff kicking out an African gay man and accusing him of credit card fraud.

The Oxford Hotel in Sydney, Australia, is an LGBT+ venue that has been “standing proudly on Oxford Street for more than 100 years”.

But when AD, a gay, African man who has chosen to remain anonymous, arrived with a friend on Saturday (27 March), his visit only lasted around 10 minutes before he was removed by security, according to the Star Observer.

While his friend went to the toilet, he ordered their drinks, and they sat down hoping to enjoy a fun evening.

But shortly afterwards, AD was asked by a staff member for his ID as they wanted to take a photograph of it. When he asked why, they responded: “You were in here when a credit card fraud was committed two months ago.”

He was then escorted out by security, told he was banned from returning and, despite asking to speak to the manager, was simply left in the street.

As soon as he shared his experience on social media, the LGBT+ venue issued an apology.

It said on Facebook: “We are still examining how this could have happened (including the part played by racial profiling).

“What is abundantly clear is that the customer had absolutely no involvement in the historic fraud of which he was accused.

“We are truly and deeply sorry for the insensitive and disrespectful manner in which this was handled.”

AD told the Star Observer that he had since met with the manager of the Oxford Hotel, but was unsatisfied.

He said: “We talked about the incident and I gave my point of view. At that time, he had not finished interviewing all the employees involved.

“He admitted it was a case of profiling based on racial appearance, so I would simply put it as a case of ‘they all look the same’… Of course I was singled out.

“The fact that of all the customers who must have been present at the venue when the credit card incident occurred (two months ago), I was picked out and suspended says it all.”

Although he acknowledged the apology, he added that it “remains to be seen whether his employees will correct their behaviour in future”.

Related topics: Gay, racism, Sydney

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