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23 May 2001

venom patrons stung by alleged ban

Rumors have arisen over the banning of certain individuals by one of Singapore's most popular gay nightclubs.

Venom, well-known for hosting and organising gay parties on Sunday nights since 1998 has allegedly refused entry to several people who are suspected of organising competing gay parties.

This comes amidst unprecedented new developments in the gay party scene in Singapore. The gay community will have a pick of parties to go to this weekend with the launch of two other Sunday night gay parties, Centro Boyz at the swanky new One Fullerton and Party 8 at ANA hotel.

Owned by John Li Lee who is straight, Venom located in downtown Orchard Road was renamed China Black recently after a 50 percent buy out by Singapore nightclub mogul Simon Tay who already owns four straight clubs on the island-state.

Sources who spoke to Fridae, on condition of their anonymity, said that the bouncers at door had a list with the names of people to keep out, and Lee was present for a period of time to point people out. The list included members of gay websites, performers and dancers involved with the other Sunday-night parties.

In a telephone interview with Fridae, one patron, Amy said she was turned away at the door last Sunday night. She was told by a bouncer that the reason for refusing her entry was because the management believes she is organising the Centro Boyz party. The dragqueen, who had performed at a Venom party recently, denied that she was organising any parties but will try to attend them to show her support.

She added that she believes that the club is threatened by the sudden launch of other gay parties and is afraid of losing patrons.

The chairman/webmaster of widely-popular Singapore gay website, SGBoy.com has also been banned. He told Fridae that he was informed by Lee personally that he, and the team involved with his website presence, are no longer welcome at Venom.

Although he declined to comment further, it is believed that they have been banned because of SGBoy's heavy involvement with the up-coming gay Sunday-night parties, Party 8.

Ironically, SGBoy hosted its second year anniversary bash and "Mr SGBoy" pageant at the club in March this year.

Lee has however denied the existence of a 'ban list'. He told Fridae that nobody was refused entry on the night. While he declined to comment further, he said that he would issue a statement on Thursday to clarify the matter.

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