After a recent meeting, the student LGBTQ groups who initiated the boycott have called it off to allow time for Godfrey's to meet their demands.
Marilyn Drew Necci | April 16, 2018
After a good deal of back-and-forth, an issue that became the talk of the town over the past month has been resolved — at least on a temporary basis. On Monday, April 2, QTPOC (Queer & Trans People Of Color Collective) & Queer Action VCU held a moderated town hall meeting at VCU that brought together members of those groups with management and employees from Godfrey’s as well as members of the public.
While the two sides of the conversation weren’t able to see eye-to-eye on every issue, the groups were able to agree on three basic steps for Godfrey’s to take moving forward. Those conditions, as explained in a statement released later in the week by QTPOC & Queer Action, were for Godfrey’s to “have all staff and security officers undergo sensitivity training specific to interacting with members of marginalized populations” by May 2; “open up a community access portal for patrons to submit complaints, concerns, and requests in the future, while also increasing transparency surrounding future incidents”; and “draft and crowd-source a list of rights and responsibilities to be held by all patrons, centered on creating a safer, more welcoming environment for marginalized folks.”
QTPOC & Queer Action were mostly satisfied with the evening. “Though not all of our asks were embraced, we largely consider the evening a success,” they said in their statement. They went on to explain that they would be pausing their boycott campaign to “focus on follow-through and accountability,” allowing enough time for the agreed-upon steps to be put into action. However, they warned, “If any of the agreed-upon asks are not put in place within the determined time-frame, further action may be taken.”
At the time of the meeting, Godfrey’s staffers stated that they were “leaving with a better feeling” after the meeting, one that seemed at least somewhat shared by the student groups involved in the boycott. However, their statement was careful to point out that they will be watching to see if their demands are implemented.
So have we seen the last of this controversy? Perhaps not. For the moment, the older, more established LGBTQ nightlife scene and the younger activist crowd have come to a detente. But whether this is a lasting peace or merely a temporary cease fire will only be clear with time. Rest assured, GayRVA will continue to monitor the situation.