Since Defqon.1 Australia 2014 is on this weekend, I decided to publish bonus stories of toilet experiences of a queer person who has been to different music festivals. I have a reason to believe that music festivals are where queer people can face discriminatory, offensive or odd comments, because of the way people who go to festivals are presented in the media. It’s always half-naked buff dudes and chicks in crop tops or bikinis that get the most attention, which can really distort people’s view on how they should be dressed at a festival. Means trouble for a queer person sometimes. Hope you find the bonus stories for this week interesting.
There was this one time where I went to an underage music festival as a reporter, dressed in a t-shirt and baggy trousers. I heard someone telling their group of friends something along the lines of: Look at that chick in t-shirt and trousers, or something. They seemed to be under the impression that men should be topless and women should be in crop tops or short dresses, like they’re uniforms. It’s very problematic. Then, when I went to another festival dressed like a dude with a cap, a guy came to me and said something about me looking gay. I couldn’t hear him properly, so I just brushed my shoulder with a pout and wasn’t too bothered by it. For some reason, the group went OOOOHHH!
Let’s go a bit further into the past. Things get worse as I go further. I went to my first rave with shaved hair and an oversized hoodie. When I got out of the toilet and past the change room, the girl said: “Excuse me, this is the girls toilet.” I pulled my hoodie back to show them my figure and she apologised after that. The second person to make a remark on my entrance was more blunt. While I was in the cubicle, they banged on the door outside and said: “Get out of the girls’ toilet!” Then, laughed as he walked off.
That being said, not all people at festivals are bad. Some have politely asked if I was lesbian out of curiosity, some have approached to talk to me or asked me to join them since I go to festivals alone. However, isn’t it disturbing to know that some teenagers and adults don’t seem to know how to treat queer people with respect? Or, maybe, those teenagers might grow into those disrespectful adults?
I really wish music festivals had both gendered and unisex toilets too, really.
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