What is it with LGBTQ+ clubs and Seattle’s SoDo (South of Downtown) neighborhood? They seem to have…problems. Earlier this year, the short lived gay owned bar/club The Comeback closed up shop after a year and a half of trying to make a go of it on First Avenue. Now, Supernova, the supposedly queer friendly disco owned by a straight dude, is facing some serious allegations that it’s not a safe space for…well, anyone. The night club located at 1st and Horton just turned two years old but it’s having serious growing pains right now as its General Manager announced his resignation and made a damning statement on social media that the club’s owner, Zac Levine was guilty of “exploitation, reckless decision-making, and mistreatment of staff”.
This week, Kaleb Dameron the general manager of Supernova announced on his social media pages that he was resigning from his position at the club and very specifically blamed owner Zac Levine for the problems which range from exploitation of the LGBTQ+ community to charges of “violations of safety, capacity, age-limit, and fire codes” making the club unsafe for patrons and employees.
From Dameron’s message on his Instagram page:
After careful consideration, I have decided to resign from my position as GM at Supernova effective immediately (technically last week). While I have loved our team so much and I’m so sad to have to leave, it has become apparent that my personal and professional values and those of Zac Levine, the owner of Supernova, are not in alignment. I will certainly not miss Zac’s exploitation, reckless decision-making, and mistreatment of myself and my team. Despite his claims, Supernova is far from being a safe space for the LGBTQIA community, women, staff or patrons.
Behind the scenes, Zac shamelessly used the community for his gain while flagrantly disregarding his staffs pronouns, belittling, screaming at, and underpaying his queer, female, POC, and trans employees, performers, and producers. It’s evident to me that, for Zac, creating a safe space was really only ever a catchy tag line, not a core value.
All attempts to address these issues with Zac have yielded no results. Instead, there has been a pattern of defensiveness, blame-shifting, or outright disregard of the matters raised.
Actually, rumors have been circulating for weeks of problems at Supernova. Patrons of the Sapphic Seattle events have expressed problems with the producers of those events, dance parties popular with Seattle’s younger lesbian community who had staged several of their dance events at Supernova. Most of that discussion concerned issues with specific staff at Sapphic but there were also concerns raised about security and issues of safety and personal space within the venue itself.
And, more fallout from the accusations as two more event producers announced pullouts: BeautyBoiz, the production event company that produced many LGBTQ+ events at Supernova announced this morning via their socials that they had discontinued their association with the venue:
We have parted ways with Supernova. Since our founding in 2015, we have been dedicated to creating safe spaces and elevating the queer/BIPOC community through event and media production. Safety and inclusion are core to our identity, not empty promises and marketing buzzwords.
In our first conversations around Supernova and the dream of what it could be we were promised a seat at the table, but in reality the recent programming decisions did not involve us and have made it impossible for us to continue our work there. We want you to know that we never lowered our standards, but our opportunities to enforce them became less and less as time went on. Rest assured that our core values and beliefs remain unwavering: our commitment to fostering inclusivity and community persists.
AND, White Rabbit Group who produce dance nights (though not specifically LGBTQ+ ones) also made a statement they would also pull their shows from Supernova effective immediately:
Supernova opened two years to great fanfare for being an exciting new disco in Seattle that combined a cutting edge vibe with savvy social media friendly design elements like a huge mirrored disco ball as the DJ booth and a wall of mirrors. The city’s disco loving nightlife fans thronged to the club and especially to the nights featuring drag performers and queer friendly parties.
The club, which has mostly stuck to being open on Friday/Saturday/Sunday with some Thursday events, is open for business this weekend with its Facebook page encouraging patrons to enter the “Disco Dimension”.
We’ve reached out to Supernova and owner Zac Levine for comment.