I simply don't understand how the simple act of declaring Oxford street a Homophobia free zone is going to achieve the goal of solving the violence issues in the area.
And what's more I am flabbergasted by the bigotry of people who think this is 'anti-heterosexual'.
We live almost on Oxford Street physically I mean, not in the sense of being out all the time. In fact we rarely go out to any of the clubs on Oxford Street. We hardly go out in that sense at all.
But I love Oxford street, for over 18 years it has been somewhere I look to as a sort of home. But over the last five to ten years the strip has become dirty, run down and very scary.
I can understand the intention of declaring it a homophobia free zone, but it ain't going to work.
I have had abuse hurled at me for years by people on Oxford street or just going by in their cars. It was pretty common back in the 90s to have idiots drive down the strip shouting ant gay bullshit out of their car on a Saturday night.
It was amusing when the lights changed and all of a sudden they had 50 poofters all converge on their car and surround them.
I have even been verbally abused by a staff member of one of the restaurants in my very own building. And trust me that was a very very very stupid thing to do when I control the Owners Corporation. - The restaurant no longer exists funnily enough :)
But back to the issue at hand, I was overjoyed when the Council rejected The Gaff's application to expand and was even happier when they rejected DCM's application to extend their hours.
The reason why?
Because I don't feel safe going near either venue at night. The patrons are drunk, they fight, they throw bottles, they throw up in the the streets and they are simply revolting.
And let's face it they hurl and shout homophobic abuse at the ' poofters' as they walk by to the gay clubs.
In response to having their extended hours application rejected, DCM has closed shop and moved up the road right next to Stonewall hotel..
That's just a great move!
Put alcohol fulled homophobes next to a club that attracts young gay guys.
As horrible as it sounds the first time a gay boy gets beaten up outside Stonewall by a Havana Club / DCM patron it will galvanise the community as a whole to address the issue. And unfortunately it's going to happen at some stage.
So declaring a homophobia free zone is not the answer and I'm not sure that increased policing is the answer either.
I think what is the answer is for the council to limit the number of clubs and fast food joints that are opening up and instead try to attract more restaurants and encourage the small wine bar / lounge venues.
The council has been doing allot to address the issue like rejecting applications from problem venues.
Let's face it the problems of violence on and around Oxford street stem from a couple of venues, DCM, Havana Club, The Courthouse Hotel, The Gaff and T2 (which has also had it's opening hours cut).
Is it coincidence that all these venues are straight?
The mixed venues seem to either have less violence issues like The Oxford and Colombian hotels because they are mixed venues and they are better managed.
It doesn't matter whether the club is straight or Gay we can and should coexist together on Oxford street but it should not be at the expense of people's safety.
Nor should it be at the exclusion of one over the other.
BUT if one group is violent of not accepting of the other then they should have the sanctions bought against them.
Labels: oxford street