The Chennai queer community has come out in support of the two women who accused a hotel in the city of homophobia. They penned a letter condemning the hotel management for attempting to intimidate and discredit the two young women.
The letter even questioned if the hotel has conducted any training sessions to sensitise the staff about LGBTQI+ issues, what steps have they taken to ensure their establishment is a safe space for queer individuals and couples and why they still haven’t tendered an apology.
Recently, two women partying at The Slate Hotel in Chennai were asked by the staff to leave on the grounds that they were “causing discomfort to other guests present there”.
However, in a statement issued on Friday, 2 August, The Slate Hotel management refuted the charges.
“There have been biased, lopsided, defamatory and baseless allegations hurled at our entrepreneurial venture... by two individuals on social media and picked up by a section of the mainstream media. The sensational headline has portrayed our pub as 'Homophobic',” read the statement.
The community condemned this statement, saying it was just an attempt “to discredit the two young women, and to portray themselves as victims of a media conspiracy orchestrated by two students.”
Over 130 people, from all walks of life have signed the letter.
The two girls had said that, that night when they went inside the washroom, four male bouncers and one female bouncer came knocking and demanded that they open up. “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,” one of the girls had told The News Minute.
The hotel management had responded saying, there was “absolutely no question of male bouncers entering the washroom”. They also argued that the “two college girls were dancing in a manner that made some of our other customers uncomfortable.” They even offered to produce testimony and CCTV footage to prove their case, to the right authorities when needed.
The letter by the community slammed the hotel management for attempting to “intimidate them by threatening to release CCTV footage.”
“Our fight for a just society and safe spaces for queer individuals includes the supposed progressive and liberal spaces. These spaces are not free of prejudice and queer phobia.”Excerpt from Letter by Chennai Queer Community
You can find the complete text of the letter here where you can sign up to show your support.