A gay club has refused entry to a man wearing high heels as they allegedly ‘don’t accept femininity’.
Pavel Vacek wanted to go to XXL, a gay nightclub in south London catering to the bear community, with friends on Saturday night (11 August).
The muscled ex-model wanted to practice dancing and moving in high heels.
This guy went to gay club wearing high heels and was turned away for being ‘feminine’
Vacek and friends take classes with the Gay Men’s Dance Company (GMDC). An upcoming class involves dancing in high heels like the Ukrainian group Kazaky or the French dancer Yanis Marshall.
So Vacek thought it was the perfect opportunity to wear a pair of thigh-high faux leather boots with four-inch heels.
With it, he wore a tight-fitting black jeans and a tank top.
‘It’s not something you do everyday,’ Vacek told Gay Star News. ‘I bought them a year ago, and I’ve only worn them once.
‘When you have heels on, people look at you. It’s something special, and something different from trainers. I think they’re hot.’
He didn’t expect any problems at the door. While XXL does state it caters to bears and is men-only, there is no dress code on the website.
But the bouncer refused them.
‘We don’t allow femininity’
‘It wasn’t aggressive,’ Vacek said. ‘He said it was club policy that you can’t wear make-up, wigs, high heels or anyone feminine. He said: “We don’t allow femininity”.’
Vacek says, to the bouncer’s credit, he didn’t feel shamed for wearing heels.
‘I think he was just doing his job. I was upset of course but I wasn’t blaming the bouncer. It’s just the general attitude of the club.’
When he and friends posted about the treatment on social media, they’ve been mostly supported.
However, others have defended XXL. Some have said they are a private business, can refuse entry to who they like and men wearing high heels don’t fit into their ‘brand’.
‘If you wear heels, it doesn’t mean you’re feminine,’ Vacek told GSN.
‘Who says heels are just for women? You can be masculine and super buff and wear heels. I think it’s sexier. It’s not a written rule.’
‘You can be masculine and super buff and wear heels’
Vacek will not be back to XXL.
‘I’m quite open-minded and I like open-minded environments,’ he said. ‘If there’s strict rules for something, I don’t like it.’
Gay Star News has reached out to Mark Ames, owner of XXL, by phone, email and social media. Due to his lack of response over the past 20 hours, it appears he is declining to comment on this. We are happy to update this article if we receive a response.
Alex Scurr, the founder of the GMDC, defended Vacek. He said he has seen ‘every type’ of man in the club that largely has an ‘inclusive and friendly’ atmosphere.
‘XXL and any similar places should, one, consider making any rules more visible on their website, and two, be very careful about any reasons given for denying entry,’ he told GSN.
‘Saying somebody is or looks “too feminine” is a slippery slope.
‘Why does one item of clothing instantly make someone feminine?’
He added: ‘XXL is a large and well-known business. It has a responsibility within the LGBTI+ community. They should know better than to judge or comment on ridiculous and toxic stereotypes of masculinity. They run of the risk of ostracizing and excluding a lot of people. In my opinion, it goes against what the club is about.’
He concluded: ‘We are never going to get full equality or acceptance from those outside our community if we don’t first accept the people inside our community.’