Papuan-Australian woman banned from Brisbane bar due to cultural tattoos

Moale James has been kicked out of a Brisbane bar because of her cultural tattoos.


Moale James has been kicked out of a Brisbane bar because of her cultural tattoos.

A Brisbane bar has come under fire for refusing an Australian Papuan woman entry because of her cultural tattoos.

Moale James, 23, was in Fortitude Valley – Brisbane’s nightclub district – with a group of friends to celebrate her partner’s birthday in the early hours of Sunday morning, and was ready to walk into the Hey bar Chica!, but a security guard, after looking at her license, said he wouldn’t allow her into the room because of her facial tattoos.

“I said, ‘It’s cultural, you still won’t let me in? The security guard allegedly replied: “No, you cannot enter the room”.

James then claimed that she went to another nightclub across the street and was told by a security guard that “they can’t categorize people and turn them down. entrance because they have tattoos on their faces”.

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The security guard at the other location, James claims, told him “the fact that [she] even told the [security guard at Hey Chica!] that these were cultural programs that he simply refused to let [her] walk in without even calling management to decide”, and calling management is generally considered part of a club’s procedure.

“Went to nearly five nightclubs last night and was only refused entry to Hey Chica!” James wrote on Sunday, claiming she wasn’t aggressive that night and that she was asking for an amendment to Queensland’s liquor and gambling policy. and its associated dress codes, along with an apology of the venue.

When posting the message on Sunday morning, James said the venue had read his messages about the incident but had not responded.

But on Monday afternoon, James wrote in a Facebook comment that she had received a response from Hey Chica! — and included screenshots of their post in his comment — but their response was “not good enough.”

The venue thanked James for “understanding the Hey Chica! staff were following procedure” and said that while they “appreciate that [their] rule caused [James] unintentional distress,” the venue “enforces a general policy that prohibits head and face tattoos at Hey Chica! as well as other entry requirements.

Hello Chica! said that while they understand this is a “strict policy”, they highlighted how they are enacting it under the Liquor Act.

Queensland liquor laws require venues to take reasonable steps to prohibit entry or remove people wearing items linked to certain criminal organizations, but James said she told the security guard that his tattoos were cultural.

Tattoos are also not currently protected under Queensland anti-discrimination law.

James also requested that the venue read his family history, which highlights the importance of reva reva to his identity and connection to his culture during a time of colonialism, which ended the “sacred” practice. ” in a “time of darkness” and, as a result, much knowledge was lost.

“Skin marking is an intimate space,” James wrote in a post documenting his own reva reva journey.

“We carry the stories of our ancestors and in doing so, everyone in the room should exude the same ‘energy’.

“We need to mark for the right reasons – not for vanity, healing or self-gratification, but to mark a moment in time to accept responsibility for brands and their stories.”

James and Hey Chica! have been contacted for comment.

This story originally appeared on Nine Honey and is republished with permission.

About James K. Bonnette

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