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By James Rothwell
A discount scheme for the LGBT community was launched this week by Oxford Pride.
The ‘PINK Card’ was launched on Saturday and is designed to generate a profit that will be donated to the council-backed organisation, which supports LGBTQ life in the county.
Cards can be purchased from The Jolly Farmers and Castle Tavern, Oxford’s gay pubs, and give users discounted entry to gay nightclubs and reductions on food and drink.
Members of Oxford University LGBTQ society will be able to receive cards for free. The society has bought a number of the cards at a discounted rate to give to students.
LGBTQsoc president Sam Weinberg said: “The LGBTQsoc will receive the cards from the LGBT venues in town at a discount, and we will then issue them for free at one of our weekly Drinks events.”
He added: “I think it’s a very good idea. It’s a way to support the local LGBTQ community, and it will allow the LGBTQ venues to reach a wider audience by encouraging people who are regulars at one place to occasionally venture out to one of the other venues. And of course I personally believe Oxford Pride does a great job – I’m glad to see them benefit from this.”
A spokesperson for Oxford Pride said: “The card does support Oxford Pride with £1 for each card sold going to Oxford Pride.”
Tom Oakley, an undergraduate at Hertford College, said: “I am delighted that the schoolboy joke ‘you dropped your gay card’ can now be a real thing.”
But some LGBTQ students were not as positive about the scheme. One said: “Unfortunately it’s the same shade of pink as my handbag, so I’d never be able to find it.”
Alex Bramham, a student at Wadham, said: “An identity card to prove I’m gay? Very New Labour. I’m not sure if everyone feels comfortable carrying a card like that around.”
The card’s terms and conditions stipulate that the “card is not a form of ID”.
Bramham also criticised the scheme’s organisation: “The website is deliberately evasive as to how long the card is valid for. Whilst I appreciate it is a fundraising initiative, there are more honest ways to do so than with this dubious membership card. I doubt the pubs and clubs will continue to offer the discounts after the Pride celebrations.”
Clubs currently offering discounts include Plush Lounge and Poptarts, and Oxford’s two gay pubs have been offering a variety of discounts on drinks including free shots with every drink and offers such as “2 x Purple WKD for 5 pounds”.
Jennifer Mustapha, a third year at St Catz, who does not identify as LGBTQ, said: “I think it’s great to raise money for Oxford Pride but it does seem to encourage the myth that LGBTQ events are very orientated around alcohol and going out, which I’m not sure is positive. It’s quite a negative stereotype.
“But to be honest those drinks deals are pretty good, though I wouldn’t pretend to be gay for them as I’m sure a lot of people would.”