Club Space promises to overhaul sensitivity training after queerphobic incident

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On August 27, Bruno Olmedo hit up Club Space in downtown Miami to catch a set from their favorite house DJ, Nicolá Cruz. Prior to the start of Cruz’s set, Olmedo, who was designated male at birth and is non-binary, was kicked out after ignoring orders from security personnel who warned them that the club’s dance platforms were not were only open to women.

“After arguing with them because it’s queerphobia I break down and they kick me out with my brother and cousin who tried to defend me,” Olmedo said in a TikTok video. which had received nearly 31,000 views as of Monday night.

Saturday’s headliner Cruz shared the video on her Instagram and called on the nightclub to do better. “Yoo @spacemiami no one should have to go through this. It’s 2022. Keep your parties safe and open,” the DJ wrote.

@bruno_olmedo I got kicked out of @clubspace_miami for standing up for my gayness 🏳️‍🌈 #fyp #clubspace #clubspacemiami #miami #lgbt #lgbtq #queer #nightlife #clubbing #dance #gay #genderfluid #pride #patrickchurch @clubspacemiami #fu #cancel #iiipoints #nikolacruz #housemusic #electronicmusic ♬ Hold Me Closer – Elton John & Britney Spears

When they were first ordered down, Olmedo said in the video, they tried to explain to the security guard that they were not identifying as a man.

“I tried to explain to him that I didn’t identify as a man, and he looked at me and said, ‘Come down!’ really threatening,” Olmedo continued. “I felt shocked because I danced to go-go boxes in many other straight-dominated electronic clubs. But I crumbled because I was a little scared.”

After Olmedo came downstairs and walked away from the security guard, a group of girls invited them to come dance on their stage. As Olmedo was dancing, a second security guard spotted them and demanded that Olmedo get off immediately. Olmedo asked why they had to come out of the box. The guard brought in a manager who told Olmedo they had to get off because their driver’s license identified them as male.

“I try to explain to the manager that I don’t identify as a man, and he has the audacity to tell me because my [identification] says I’m a man, I’m a man,” Olmedo explained in the video.

After Olmedo came down from the platform, the manager told them that they had to leave the club immediately.

Olmedo left and took to TikTok to share what happened.

Achieved by new timesClub Space management confirmed Olmedo’s version of events and said the club was saddened by the incident and determined to address issues of inclusivity.

“Club Space does not tolerate homophobic, transphobic, queerphobic or prejudiced behavior of any kind in our spaces, and we will not allow anyone to misrepresent the values ​​we stand for,” the club posted on Instagram afterwards. “We embrace diversity and work diligently to foster a culture of acceptance, safety and free expression.”

The venue’s management team – David Sinopoli, David Denese and Coloma Kaboomsky – admit they limited dance clubs to women after numerous incidents involving men aggressively grabbing women or targeting their handbags for them. steal. Going forward, they say, the space will relax its rules with the continued goal of fostering a fun and safe environment.

“After Saturday’s incident, we have revised our dance club policy which will now evolve as follows: everyone, regardless of gender, is welcome to dance up there as long as they contribute positively to the party , without disturbing others,” the Instagram statement promised. “To ensure that our staff and team members reflect the values ​​of our organization, we are ramping up our awareness training for staff members in partnership with LGBTQIA+ community organizations and will continue to do so.”

Since its opening in 2000, Club Space has always attracted a queer clientele despite being a predominantly straight nightclub. In 2016, after a period of decline, Sinopoli, Denese and Kaboomsky purchased the venue and ushered in a revival. (In 2019, event promoter Insomniac, behind events like Electric Daisy Carnival and Okeechobee Music & Art Festival, acquired a stake.) The club continues to be a world-class music destination as revelers congregate on the terrace to listen to dance music and watch the sunrise. It also regularly hosts gay-centric events as well as queer and transgender performers.

Members of the LGBTQ community have long complained about discriminatory behavior within Miami nightlife. Last year, new times interviewed several gay people who said they experienced some form of discrimination in Miami clubs and bars. Two weeks ago a 23-year-old gay man claimed he was assaulted by Centro staff in Wynwood – an allegation the club vehemently denied.

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