You are not logged in. Signup to contribute or login! Not recieved your activation email? Click here to send it again.

Discrimination from a gay bar!


Hilli Rishworth (formerly Scrannage) recalls vividly the incident “I saw an advertisement in the gay press for staff at a new gay venue which was to be opened by Ansells Brewery. I applied for a job as did my girlfriend and another female friend, all of us gay women. We attended the interview, were issued with uniforms and contracts and went home expecting to start work the next day but then I was telephoned by the manageress and told that I wasn’t to be employed after all. The same thing happened to my friends. We thought it was strange. The next thing I heard was that lesbians had been barred from the opening night celebrations as too had Drag Queens”.

“Jo Joes was flying the Freedom Flag but using discriminatory practices. Something needed to be done, so a protest group was started. We made placards, informed the local press, informed the Police and started a petition which had soon gathered thousands of signatures. On Friday 18th August 1995 we marched to Jo Joes using the slogans ’What do we want?, The Freedom Flag Down, When do we want it, We want it now’ and ‘Too many no ‘nos’ at Jo Joes!’”

“The brewery however failed to take notice of the demo, and so on 25th August a further demonstration was held. Jo Joes eventually did close down. In an argument between the gay community and the brewery, we won the day. Realising that we may have a case for sexual discrimination against the brewery we decided to take them to court. The case was won and the three of us received a day’s wages for the day we worked plus £450 each damages. About a year later Jo Joes reopened but was never successful”.

Hilli declares “It is mega important that people protect what they have. The Freedom Flag stands for our Pride, it is ours and should be protected.”

Contributed by: Hilli Rishworth

Click here to read the full interview with this contributor