There are plenty of examples of different age brackets paying less for goods and services — senior discounts at movie theaters and grocery stores, student discounts for theater or train tickets. Nobody seems to mind.
But the South Florida chapter of The Impulse Group, a non-profit that “focuses on the sexual and overall health of the gay community” by hosting and promoting swanky parties, has been accused of age discrimination following a pool party in Miami.
Party-goers under the age of 40 were welcomed free of charge to frolic poolside at the retro-chic Vagabond Hotel, while those over 40 were required to pay a $50 “donation.” It’s hard to spin that as a ‘discount,’ and many feel it more closely resembles an ‘age tax.’
“I’m amazed at the invite I just received – free admission up to 40 years of age and $50 over 40,” wrote Ed Stevens in an email to South Florida Gay News. “In addition to whether this is even legal, it’s a shocking and blatant attempt to exclude mature people and another instance of how people in our community should know better, given the discrimination and judgements we face in the mainstream world. And I was looking forward to going back to this beautifully restored landmark.”
The practice is nothing new, though the abrupt jump from nothing to $50 seems a bit extreme. SFGN reports that it’s common for LGBT social events in South Florida to charge young people less in an effort to get them involved in the community.
Still, the pool party Facebook page lit up with angry comments:
“The distinct impression is not that they want older folks to fund the party, but that they don’t want them to attend at all. Just young, beautiful people, right? What’s next, keeping fat folks away?,” wrote Tori Bertran.
Another commentator, Scott Pluto, trolled the page by writing, “Who wants old trolls there staring at young guys. It’s a young mans group….So what if they want to charge old people.”