Navigating the club

This story was contributed anonymously, and focuses around a recent night out where all the complexities of consent, LGBTQ+ rights and 'lad culture' came out. This is a personal account of what happened and how the author responded to events of the night. 

Last night one of the first things that happened on walking into a club was that two guys made out in the middle of the dance floor and no one responded. Amazing! Of all the nationalities, cultures and individuals mixing in the club no one seemed surprised or disapproving; they were just another couple making out. Now I’m a bit of a rubbish ally to the LGBTQ+ movement by pointing this out because it shouldn’t be exciting, it should just be normal.

However, given the discrimination we are up against it sometimes seems worth celebrating the fact that this is now possible. I wouldn’t normally write about this because it should just be obvious but sadly the situation did not stay positive.

The two guys quickly headed over to our group, one (from my perspective!) was displaying traditionally heteronormative behaviour, borderline ‘lad culture’; while the other clearly seemed to be gay and seriously into the first guy. I am aware that it is wrong to typecast people by behaviour, clothes or make these assumptions but in day to day life it’s sometimes inevitable that you use these social cues to read situations.

The guy who was presenting as gay began flirting heavily with me. He may well have been queer, bisexual, pansexual… for all I know, but he was not displaying any indication of being attracted to women other than this over the top, staged flirting with me. The guy he had just kissed grabbed another girl within our group and began making out with her in the centre. I felt like he was attempting to assert his ‘straightness’, that he had only kissed a guy for fun on a night out and would show us all how ‘manly’ he was, or rather show himself.

From my perspective the guy attempting theatrical flirting with me seemed upset and the flirting with me went up a notch; as did the attempt to make out with me. My understanding was that he now wanted to back track and make the kiss with a guy seem like a joke too. After turning away three times and being pulled back, I disappeared to the bathrooms and my friend kindly followed me.

There is a lot wrong with this situation. Firstly, everyone was drunk and no one was checking consent. Secondly, making out with a guy seemed to quickly become something to be embarrassed by. Thirdly, the solution was to try and make a scene of kissing intoxicated women. Fourthly, a ‘straight’ guy felt uncomfortable kissing a ‘gay’ guy, so the ‘gay’ guy was upset and made a ‘straight’ woman uncomfortable by attempting to kiss her. STOP PASSING ON THE DISCOMFORT.

Make out with whoever you want but make sure you’re sober enough to be making decisions you’re comfortable with and for the love of god CHECK CONSENT.