Same Sex Couple thrown out of Chennai club, allege Homophobic treatment
Chennai, Aug 02: It is almost a year now after the landmark Supreme Court judgement decriminalising homosexuality, India saw a flurry of rainbow-colored flags fill the street across the country, in celebration of the decriminalisation of gay sex; something the LGBT community had been fighting for a long time. But did same-sex couples receive full acceptance?
Recently, Two women who are in their early twenties have accused a hotel in Chennai of homophobic treatment as they were 'thrown out' of the premises on Saturday night. They claimed that the hotel had offended the sensibilities of other guests.
The incident happened on July 28 and the two girls have been identified as Rasika Gopalkrishnan and Shivangi Singh who were at The Slate Hotels on Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Chennai at the time of the incident.
According to the reports, the couple said that they were doing nothing 'inappropriate' and they were targeted perhaps because Rasika is 'visibly queer' i.e. her clothes and hairstyle do not adhere to the conventional gender norms.
They further added that they were being lecherously stared at, at the bar. When they moved to the dance floor, the stares did not stop. Amid all this, Shivangi fell sick and the two of them went to the washroom. According to them, within 5 seconds, 2 bouncers and one female staff started banging on their washroom door, demanding them to immediately step outside.
Rasika later posted about their traumatic experience on social media and tagged the hotel in the post.
"My friend and I decided to go to a bar called The Slate Hotels on a Saturday night. While dancing, there were 4 to 5 men who were standing at the bar and were constantly staring at us, making us very uncomfortable," Rasika wrote in a post on Facebook.
"As far as we knew, almost everyone else was enjoying themselves as much as we did, yet why did we draw such unwarranted attention? Why was it so hard to digest that two people of the same gender were dancing together? I was appalled at the way in which we were immediately fetishized by the people around us," she added in her Facebook post.
"Moments later, we hear frantic knocks on our door, ordering us to step out of the washroom. 4 male bouncers and 1 female bouncer were inside the washroom, demanding to know what we were doing in the washroom together. They accused us of 'doing something else', they warned us about 'several complaints' they had received from the guests, and they insisted that we leave immediately. So we left," she further said.
Here is the full Facebook post:
According to Gopalakrishnan, she and her friend were minding their own business without picking a fight with other guests at the hotel neither did they abuse them.
The also claimed that the hotel's FB page responded with an apology and they later got a call from a working partner of the hotel, Varun Ganeshan.
According to Rasika, "He also said at some point that since we made our story public on social media, he could have also released the videos.
When the girls insisted, he said that there is no need to watch any footage, it won't be necessary.
Amid all these accusations, the hotel has claimed that the women were not discriminated on the basis of their sexuality, but that they received complaints from customers regarding 'the girls' conduct'.