A woman and her girlfriend were trying to enjoy a Jack White concert in Edmonton, but the night turned sour after they were told not to kiss by one of the venue’s workers.
Allyson Maclvor explained that during one of her favorite songs by White, she pulled her girlfriend in for a kiss. Immediately, a Rogers Place worker pulled her aside, saying, “that’s not allowed here.” Maclvor, who was confused as to why she couldn’t kiss someone, was ushered to a managers office by the worker after the show. The worker explained to the manager that the two women kissing was “inappropriate sexual behavior.”
The arena staff apologized many times to Maclvor for the incident, but the apologies “still didn’t help the incident and the hurt that came out of this,” Maclvor told CBC News.
“The arena staff were very apologetic, as I wrote an incident report, with tears in my eyes, realizing we still live in a world where I have to watch my back as a “gay” woman, and apparently, I still have to watch whom I kiss, even at Rogers Place,” Maclvor wrote in a Facebook post, which has now gone viral.
Rogers Place said the staff is aware of the issue and are investigating.
“Oilers Entertainment Group and Rogers Place are committed to creating a safe and inclusive space for all guests,” the venue said in a statement. “This incident does not align with our values and we take a zero tolerance approach to any form of discrimination. We unequivocally welcome and support all members of the LGBTQ community.”
Once White heard of the incident, he posted a photo to Instagram of a lesbian couple kissing at a Beatles concert in 1964, which he described as one of his favorite pictures “because of how beautiful the situation is; they are hiding in plain sight.”
“It’s 2018 now and two people expressing affection shouldn’t have to hide,” he said in the post. “The news that two women were stopped from kissing during my show in Edmonton really disappointed me.”
“At the next show in Calgary I dedicated the song ‘Love Interruption’ to the two women and encouraged everyone in the crowd to kiss their loved ones,” White continued. “Let’s promote love and acceptance wherever and whenever we can.”
According to CBC, Steinunn Parsons, the assistant general manager of guest experience at Rogers Place, offered Maclvor and her friend a free concert and dinner of their choice in apology. While Maclvor accepted the request and plans to see Fleetwood Mac at the venue this weekend, she requested that the usher who confronted her be invited as well.
“I would love to get to know this employee on a more personal and deeper level than the events that just happened,” Maclvor said. “So hopefully we’ll go out for dinner and have an amazing time. This employee and I can just get to know each other as people and move past this in a healthier way.”
Maclvor is still waiting to hear back from the usher to see if she accepted the invitation.