London club Adonis sparks fierce debate over ‘no circuit gays’ rule 

Men on a float during the Boston Gay Pride Parade on Tremont St. in the South End neighbourhood

A queer nightclub in London has sparked debate over its ongoing drive to create an inclusive, fully LGBTQ+ space for the entire community by introducing a “no circuit gays” rule.

An email sent to ticket holders ahead of Adonis’ Pride event on Saturday 1 July outlined the club’s new policy, drawing criticism from some people who took offence to the term and at the prospect of being excluded from the club.

Adonis was created as a safe clubbing experience that welcomes the full spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community.

Ahead of its next event on 5 August, Adonis posted on Instagram to state that it’s “fully committed to ensuring that marginalised groups feel comfortable at our club”. 

“There is no space for arrogance or privilege here,” the post adds.

The club shared an Instagram story that has caused fury among some gay men, some of whom might be considered to be a “circuit gay”.

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In its Instagram story, the club said an “overwhelming sense of entitlement” and an attitude that makes others feel uncomfortable is the reason a door policy has been brought in. 

“Your outrage reeks of male privilege. This isn’t only a ‘circuit gay problem’, it’s more widespread than that. Toxic muscularity has no place in queer culture,” the post read.

The club added that the door policy hasn’t been an easy decision but it would rather “end Adonis than be associated with this type of attitude”. 

Adonis London told PinkNews: “Adonis was created as an alternative to the mainstream gay scene.

“It is not a circuit party and we have a responsibility to make sure our audience feel safe and able to express themselves freely in our space.”

What does ‘circuit gay’ mean? 

In the UK, the term ‘circuit gay’ often refers to a masculine-identified, white gay man who is typically good looking and often very muscular. 

However, people’s interpretation of what ‘circuit gay’ means can differ, with one person on Twitter stating that it’s also about attitudes and friendship groups – not just looks. 

A circuit party, which has grown into an international phenomenon since its birth in the 1970s, is an all-night gay rave where partygoers, almost all gay men, gather from around the world to bond spiritually, socially, sexually and musically, according to Vice.

‘It’s their attitudes that are messy’

Responses to Adonis’ ‘no circuit gays’ rule have been mixed, with some claiming that the club uses the same types of men in its promotion materials and therefore, the rule is hypocritical.

Others have pointed out that attitudes matter more than looks in terms of determining who could present a problem at an event.

One Twitter user wrote: “Muscles do not equal masculine. Most of the men I come across at circuit nights are the biggest queens. It’s their attitudes that are messy.” 

Another posted: “I wouldn’t go just cause I’m friends with folks of all different kinds and it would suck if one of them was denied entry based off perceived attractiveness.” 

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