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Small changes could make a big difference to queer fans

Nix Corporan, fan support team lead at DICE, outlines a handful of ways the live music industry could make concerts safer and more inclusive for queer fans

23 Aug 2022

Nix Corporan, DICE

Small changes could make a big difference to queer fans. I’ve been thinking about ways the live industry can better serve those fans and top of the list is better inclusivity and safety.

In that sense, one thing that ticketing companies can do is give fans the option of adding a ‘preferred name’ when registering for an account. Trans and gender non-conforming people often don’t enjoy the name that they were legally given (sometimes called a “dead name” in the community), and so as a result, they’ll use a name that identifies better with themselves in their current state of being.

Last year, I bought a ticket for a friend of mine to see Kaytranada, but as their preferred name doesn’t match the name on their ID, they needed to write their legal name when registering, in the event they might need to show ID at the door. For someone seeing their legal name on the documentation, it could lead to dysphoria or trigger bad memories.

Allowing the fan to add their preferred name creates psychological safety for them

While ticketing companies and promoters may require legal names for identification purposes, their preferred name could show up on the fan-facing side of the profile but venues could still have their legal names on file.

Allowing the fan to add their preferred name creates psychological safety for them and they can feel more confident in their purchase journey. It would also let these fans know that the live industry sees them for who they are.

On the subject of psychological safety, I think a great way to enforce safety in our venues and to make queer fans feel safe is by hiring specialist security agencies like Safe Only, an exclusively queer security/welfare/harm reduction team.

Staff and security must be trained on how to search people in a way that feels safe for queer fans

Staff and security must be trained on how to search people in a way that feels safe for queer fans and how to incorporate more inclusive language.

Another thing venues and executives can start implementing is a fund that will help a trans/gender non-conforming/person of colour get a cab home. Maybe a portion of ticket sales or bar sales could be dedicated to this fund. Maybe a portion of the bar tab can go towards queer service workers as well?

It happens a lot here in New York City, where queer people will get hurt, or worse, on the way back from the gig. For a lot of performers, performance and art is their source of income and they’ll have to be out of a job because someone didn’t like who they are.

DICE’s mission is to get everyone outside, and my personal mission is to get everyone outside and back home

Making sure everyone gets home safe, especially a venue’s performer, should be a top priority, and I think adding this fee will show the performer the community cares about them beyond what they give us on stage. DICE’s mission is to get everyone outside, and my personal mission is to get everyone outside and back home.

The final thing, is setting up a buddy system, or queer meetups (maybe like a pregame lounge area) so people can meet up before an event begins. It would be beneficial on both a safety level and a social level, helping to strengthen our community. Some of my closest friends – scratch that, chosen family – are people I met in the lines at gigs.

We saw each other all the time in line for the same concerts and the same artists! I think meetups are a great way to uplift and join together an underrepresented community. But also, travelling in big groups would potentially decrease the risk of queer people getting in harm’s way.

 


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