Melbourne gay nightclub Poof Doof has published an updated photo brief for its photographers, after its former brief was criticised by members of the LGBTI community for being discriminatory.
In a post on social media earlier this week, Poof Doof shared its new policy changes and wrote that a lot had changed since the club formed in 2011, and that the team’s goal was “to create a safe and inclusive space for everyone”.
“We’re looking for photos that represent the full spectrum of our crowd,” the brief reads.
“Every age, shape, size, colour, culture, gender, state of dress (or undress), the weird, the wonderful, the crazy, and beyond.”
The club also posted its door policy, which highlighted the venue as an “all-inclusive, LGBTIQ+ rave”.
“Our door policy is simple: the door is wide open to anyone and everyone who wants to Doof,” it reads.
The changes have arrived on the heels of immense backlash to an old photo brief Poof Doof once used, which called on the club’s photographers to take images of muscled men, “only the best” drag queens, and “hot boys”, while prohibiting images of women and “boys with bad skin”.
Speaking to the Star Observer earlier this month, Poof Doof General Manager Susie Robinson verified that the brief was real but said it hadn’t been used in years, and alleged it had been spread by a recently ousted photographer.
“[The brief] was given in a meeting years and years ago, and kept to use against us,” she told the Star Observer.
“We’re really devastated. A lot changes in eight years, and that brief isn’t representative of who we are today.
“But that doesn’t change the fact that those words were written, and for that we absolutely, unreservedly apologise. We absolutely don’t stand by it.”
The recently terminated photographer, Ari New, disputed Robinson’s claim, and said he had no intention of publicly circulating the brief.
In a post on Facebook, New said he had privately shared the brief in one of his group chats, with no “malicious intent” or desire for it to be publicly shared.
“The photo was sent around by one of the other people [without] my knowledge,” he wrote.
“I received a phone call from [Robinson] and explained how it got out, and that I was trying to have the posts removed. I was very clear in pointing out that it was never my intention for the brief to be spread and I was extremely upset as it appeared like I personally sent it around out of spite.
“After four years working for Poof Doof and a total of ten years working consistently, loyally, and respectfully on the scene, it’s quite clear my intentions have always been to provide the best service for the LGBTIQ community and to help create and capture memories,” he said.