Woman ‘kicked out of music festival for kissing female friend’

asha couch for the love festival music festival perth homophobic discrimination
Photo: Facebook

A security guard at Perth’s For The Love music festival allegedly kicked out a queer woman from their event because she was kissing her female friend.

Asha Couch was told that she and her friend had to leave because they were “too intoxicated”, she claimed in a Facebook post. But Couch said neither of them had drinks at the time.

“Around 8pm, I was sitting on the grass with another girl and we were kissing and talking,” Couch wrote.

“We were not bothering anybody nearby [and] we were not being loud or disruptive or offensive in any way whatsoever. We didn’t even have drinks with us at the time.

“A member of security approached us and told us that we were being kicked out of the festival. I asked what we had done wrong, and was simply told that we were too intoxicated and needed to go.

“Neither I nor my friend were being anything but respectful to the people around us. We were not too drunk or causing any problems – we were just kissing.

“I had seen countless heterosexual couples, far drunker than us, all up in each others’ faces all day with no complaint from security.

“It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what the security guard really took offence to.”

The festival was on at Perth’s McCallum Park on February 29. But Couch claims For The Love didn’t respond to her messages until she took to Facebook with the complaint.

For The Love organisers respond to festivalgoer’s complaint

Couch said she had looked forward to the For The Love music festival for more than a month. However, security removed the pair before they could see two of the festival’s major headliners.

“To say I am disappointed is an understatement,” she wrote.

“This was the first time I’ve been made to feel small and unwelcome due to my sexuality. I never want to feel this way again but, unfortunately, we’ve still got a long way to come with LGBTQ+ discrimination.

“If no one says anything, nothing changes.”

Responding to comments about the incident on their Facebook page, festival organisers confirmed they were in contact with Couch and were “working through” her complaint.

“We simply haven’t had the capability to get back to all enquiries in the last few days,” a spokesperson wrote.

“But now we that we have, we are working through it with Asha.”

The spokesperson said the festival is “completely supportive of the LGBT+ community” and the lineup included queer performers.

“We are now looking into this with security and ensuring Asha is happy with the outcome,” a spokesperson said.

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