Hen don’t

DANGER, women may be having fun in YOUR neighbourhood

Artillery Row

Sucking a mojito through a novelty penis straw and belting out karaoke classics might not be everyone’s idea of a laugh, but surely only fun-crushing fundamentalists could object to the British tradition of a hen party?

Enter Cardiff’s Queer Emporium. Owners of the social enterprise have launched a campaign against the granting of a licence to a nearby hen-party themed bar called “Blame Gloria”. They have done so on the somewhat spurious basis that it would “endanger LGBTQ+ children”.

In a petition which seems to channel Victor Meldrew and Mary Whitehouse, the self-styled protectors of “LGBTQ” youth have made the extraordinary claim that unaccompanied, drunken women might pose a risk to their clientele. The fevered screed threatens that “further legal action” could follow should the council fail to bow to their demands.

For shame! Unchaperoned women cavorting and imbibing the demon drink

Cllr Norma Mackie voiced her disgust in support of the Queer Emporium, declaring with all the outrage of a teetotal Baptist Minister, “It appears to be attracting hen parties with the aim of getting drunk.” For shame! Unchaperoned women on the streets of Cardiff cavorting and imbibing the demon drink. Quick, someone pass the queer-friendly poppers!

As with many contemporary LGBT organisations, the Queer Emporium has a surprising approach to child protection. While they claim to offer a “safe space”, they proudly sell chest binders to teenage girls. One young customer quoted in their impact report complains that as a “FTM [Female To Male] teen” she “can’t get into any gay bars or adult queer spaces” but that at Queer Emporium “everyone was so nice and I got an awesome binder that wasn’t crazily expensive”.

Chest binders are used to compress the often not fully developed breast tissue of girls and young women — this can lead to a range of grisly health problems. Their take-up amongst adolescents who feel disgust with their developing bodies is arguably the latest manifestation of teenage self-harm. This same demographic would’ve once starved or cut themselves, but at least shops didn’t sell them diet pills and knives whilst patting themselves on the back for their progressive values.

The Queer Emporium is not just in the business of flogging body-breaking products, pronoun badges and rainbow-themed tat, it is also an events venue and serves as a box office for Cardiff’s Queer Fringe. Upcoming on 2 July, trans activist Shon Faye is booked to delight audiences for the festival close. Yet oddly, despite being championed by the Queer Emporium, Faye is far from “family friendly”. Journalist Faye has publicly tweeted comments including inviting youngsters to “be sluttier than you are while you can”, and boasting, “I’ve been asked to give inspiring talks to schools about my trans life and its like ‘suck dick and get tits early’”. Tellingly, Faye has yet to be cancelled or no-platformed for these remarks.

What is sold at the Queer Emporium is fear

Apparently unaware that the Queer Emporium might not be considered entirely suitable for children, founder Yan White complained to Wales Online about Blame Gloria, “You wouldn’t put a bar next to a Build-a-Bear so why put this next to us?” 

Cutting through the jargon and hype, what is sold at the Queer Emporium is fear — and for youngsters this includes the chance to cosplay being part of an oppressed minority. Cardiff is not populated by monstrous bigots, and there is no great risk to those who are marked out as different. Mary’s, which advertises itself as “an award-winning LGBT+ bar”, is a two-minute stroll away. And yet, the social enterprise styles itself as a refuge or sanctuary in a cruel world full of threats, as a place “where folks are able to be themselves without fear or worry of attack or aggressions”. 

The Queer Emporium is one of many initiatives to trade on memories of widespread homophobia that thankfully passed away at the end of the last century. The manufactured anxiety of the younger generation, and guilt of the older, have been weaponised. The result has seen a swarm of “professional LGBTQ victims” who carve careers from past injustices and present-day ignorance.

Part of the narrative underlying this is that so-called “trans kids” are under attack. This is a lie. In fact, after years of pushing from within and outside the medical and therapeutic sectors, questions are beginning to be asked about the surge in youngsters referred to gender identity clinics. But rather than face the truth that they might have made a mistake, the newly emerged LGBT industry has hunkered down. Petty tyrants flail around throwing down edicts and issuing demands in a bid to extend their territory. From mandating pronoun use to attempting to ban women having fun, as with any group of joyless puritans fearful of the devil, their aim is control. 

Key to this is the lie that they are representatives of a community in danger. But the truth is, each one of us is at greater risk from the “professional victims” like those running The Queer Emporium than we are from drunken women having a laugh. So, here’s to the rowdy hen parties and vomiting brides-to-be — they might well be our last defence against the growing empire of the fear-fuelled rainbow Reich.

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