Invisible in Cardiff?
Cardiff has made headlines this week for a surprisingly retro reaction to two women kissing.
The city’s International Food & Drink Festival was in town and two queer women dancing and having a quick smooch proved too much for some festival-goers to stomach. When a couple of attendees complained to the stewards, rather than being told to catch up with the 21st century their protests were taken up and the two women – Mog and Freya – asked to stop showing affection.
Wales Online reported it as a “lesbian couple” and this was duly copied across the media from the Telegraph and Daily Mail to Pinknews, though when Bi Community News caught up with them it turns out that, as so often, it might be two girls smooching but that doesn’t mean there were any lesbians involved. As one of them tweeted:
For starters, @pinknews , I’m not a lesbian. Journo assumed I was because I have a girlfriend. But y’know – LGwhatwhatwhat now? You suck.
— Mog Shamanatrix (@_MissMog_) July 14, 2015
When we spoke to her yesterday Mog told us, “the words ‘tone it down’ were applied – and ‘look girls, I’ve had two separate complaints about you.”
She explained further:
“We weren’t even snogging, it was literally a couple of pecks on the lips while dancing. For that we found ourselves subjected to a group of older women screaming hate speech and one literally getting right up in our faces to tell us we were disgusting.
“So the fact that a steward came over and then rather than address the actual criminals in the situation, asked us to “tone it down” instead was less than fun.”
Earlier Mog told Wales Online, “We were dancing to the live music and I kissed Freya because she looked so beautiful and it was her birthday.
“The someone come up to us and told us it was disgusting and to stop because there were children around but this was a public place and we were not doing anything wrong. I am quite fierce and not a shy girl so I brushed it off. But it did leave me a bit shaky.”
The crowd clearly weren’t all offended: indeed when they heard about the complaints, two men started kissing too.
A spokesperson for Cardiff Council claimed that “the same course of action would have been taken regardless of the sexual orientation of the individuals involved.”
However, as action was only taken following a complaint, it looks to us like one of those cases where the law might be applied equally when applied, but is less likely to be applied to some people than others.
The Welsh capital is renowned for the “Ianto memorial” at the site of the fictional Torchwood headquarters from the BBC’s scifi series, a high-profile bisexual landmark just yards from where the incident happened. Sadly it seems bisexuality is invisible to reporters, even there.