Christchurch Pride – Inclusion of Sex on Site Venue

Christchurch Pride have confirmed that some people find the inclusion of a sex on site venue during pride week as an issue.

They have put a post on facebook to explain this inclusion which has prompted some interesting discussion on the issues of sexuality and gender.

Their post is below and the comments on it make an interesting read. If you would like to have an opinion piece or comment on this issue please feel free to contact us.

The Chch Pride committee know that some people will find the inclusion of a sex on site venue during pride week as an issue. Sex on Site venues have always been, and always will be a big part of our msm culture and history. They were born from when sex between two consenting adult men was illegal and for many the only way for msm to meet and express their true selves. Pride events throughout the world are created to celebrate a diverse range of gender and sexual identities as well as personal interests. As a community we must include all facets of our LGBTQIA+ whanau, unfortunately not all events will cater for everyone based on physical ability, gender, age, cultural and religious beliefs and or sexual or personal preferences.

The cis gendered issue surrounding one of the events included in the Chch Pride programme is a requirement enforced by the venue owners which is beyond our control. How a venue owner chooses to best operate their private business is totally up to them. We know that the venue have consulted with some of the trans community and it was agreed out of the safety and well being for our trans people to keep it as a cis gendered venue. Like many groups and events this has a specific target audience. As much as the venue owners dedicate themselves to creating a safe environment sometimes unfortunately attitudes of some patrons are beyond their control. So in the interest of safety they have decided to restrict the venue to cis gendered men. These decisions which may be seen as exclusion are not made with transphobic ideals at all, they are put in place to ultimately keep trans people safe.

In the big picture we have a responsibility to include them and the msm that visit these venues as many of them who go there maybe either closeted, feel isolated and or struggle to connect publicly to a community that feels very foreign or scary to them. Also some of these men simply enjoy the company of other men and it is a big part of their identity. By including them in the pride programme it is hopefully a way of us supporting them, offering them some education and also inviting them to be part of the wider LGBTQIA+ community that they may not otherwise know how to connect with. It is also our responsibility to make our community feel safe and included and also proud in who they are and how they identify. We understand sex on site venues are not for everyone but we need to support those who do choose to use them. It would be exclusionary of us to not include the venue and their patrons as part of the weeks celebrations as they too are a big part of our community.

Pride is all about supporting people of all shapes, sizes, colours, ages, genders, sexualities, backgrounds, interests, passions etc and we need to make sure we are supporting everyone who falls under the rainbow umbrella both as a whole community and sometimes as individuals too. One of our main goals of Chch Pride is to create networks to a somewhat fractured and isolated community.

Chch Pride respects people expressing their very valid, personal and honest views and concerns. We encourage these sometimes difficult discussions to happen otherwise we don’t learn or grow as people or a community. We as a minority community must do our best to support, encourage and educate each other at any opportunity we can.

Chch Pride have been busy supporting lots of groups, businesses and individuals to prepare and plan 11 days of events, many that are fully inclusive for all and we hope you will join us in celebrating our LGBTQIA+ community.

Sex on Site venues have always been, and always will be a big part of our msm culture and history. They were born from when sex between two consenting adult men was illegal and for many the only way for msm to meet and express their true selves. Pride events throughout the world are created to celebrate a diverse range of gender and sexual identities as well as personal interests. As a community we must include all facets of our LGBTQIA+ whanau, unfortunately not all events will cater for everyone based on physical ability, gender, age, cultural and religious beliefs and or sexual or personal preferences.