The inclusivity campaign changing British pub culture from the inside out
BY FELICITAS SOPHIE VAN LAAK
On 19 September, Ask For Clive hosted a screening of Ashley Joiner’s Pride documentary Are You Proud? at the Odyssey Cinema in St Albans. Initiated by Hertfordshire Police, Ask For Clive is a campaign founded by Danny Clare and named after Clive Duffey, organiser of Herts Pride and a Terrence Higgins Trust volunteer.
The scheme enables LGBTQI people to discretely contact a member of staff on a date-gone-wrong by literally asking for “Clive” at the bar or at the venue they’re in. Launched in March 2019, the campaign can be recognised by their square rainbow sticker stating, “Everyone is welcome here.”
The staff in venues with the Clive sticker have been specifically trained for dealing with situations that might compromise their queer guests. As the UK has more pubs per head than any other country, creating LGBTQI-friendly spaces in bars is a relevant action against discrimination and homophobic attacks. Moreover, Danny Clare stresses that witness reporting is key, as well creating venues that truly don’t accept abuse – both staff and customers
Ask For Clive’s ambitious goal is to have over 20,000 registered venues by the end of 2020. Currently, over 2000 venues are already part of the campaign. The project also owes a lot of its success to Hertfordshire Police. Inspector Steve Alison, Chair of the Hertfordshire Constabulary LGBT+ Network, told DIVA:
“Hertfordshire Constabulary is committed to supporting the LGBT+ community and we have specially trained LGBT+ Liaison Officers who provide help and support when a member of the LGBT+ community is a victim of hate crime.”
Did you know, for instance, that every time you dial 999 in an emergency (for non-emergencies call 101), you can request to speak with a member of the LGBT+ Liason Officers? Amazing stuff, right?
Historically, the relationship between queer people and the police has been strained, which is why, as Alison continues, “Attending events like [the screening of Are You Proud?] is really important as it allows us to speak to members of the LGBT+ community face-to-face and gain a better understanding of the issues affecting them.”
“Never hesitate to contact the police if you’re the victim of an LGBT+ hate crime. You will always be treated with respect from us.”
This May, Danny Clare and Clive Duffey also filmed a video with the BBC. And, as the campaign is rapidly widening its range, they are looking for volunteers! (Contact: email@example.com if fancy getting involved).
Moreover, you can donate here, with the funds raised will go towards, “financing stickers and fulfilment, site visits to train and educate partners, and raising awareness of the campaign.” All good stuff.
As for Are You Proud?, this is a diverse and inclusive documentary about LGBTQI activism from the 1960s to the present day, covering the issue of commercialisation, and featuring Trans Pride and Black Pride, as well as the collaboration between queer activists and miners in the 1980s. The film also touches on the impact of HIV and Thatcher’s politics, and the Orlando shootings.
It offers a way to re-politicise Pride by reassessing LGBTQI struggles: for every country that grants more rights to queer people, it seems the global situation worsens. Instead, Are You Proud? invites us to globalise our activism by standing in solidarity with LGBTQI refugees
Give it a watch – and remember, Ask For Clive.
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