When I go out, I always get asked for ID to prove I’m over 18. Not a problem to most. In fact, women take it as a compliment that they look so young where as I feel slightly insulted. I’d say it’s a male thing more than being in wheelchair because I have no way of suggesting that I am an adult. Girls can show off a bit of leg/cleavage and before you know it, they’re in the club. However, I can’t really say, “I’ve got loads of hair” (prior to the wax obviously) and whip my pants off to prove my age because that would be highly inappropriate.
As my mum says, being asked for identification should give me a smug feeling that I am the correct age. It doesn’t. I end up feeling embarrassed as if somehow I’m breaking the law. An odd feeling of guilt comes over me and I have to remind myself that I am 19 years old. I awkwardly sit there not wanting to give eye contact and not wanting to look away because both would look suspicious. I also do that when my bags are being checked (even though I’m definitely NOT a terrorist). Part of the reason I lack confidence handing over my ID is the curious reaction it gets.
I can’t drive so don’t have a licence to show my age. Nor do I carry around my passport because that seems ludicrous and a pain in the neck. Instead I have a Validate UK card (given at school), which clearly states my D.O.B. It even has the date when I turned 18 in case any bouncers are too stupid to work it out. Although it is easy to read and has official emblems such as the Hertfordshire Police Constabulary, I’m still getting looks of bewilderment when I get it out. I was nearly turned away from Oceana on Friday night and told to bring a different ID next time.
I’m considering printing the front-page of the website because it clearly explains that the card is legitimate. Chief Constable Jon Stoddart from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) The Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) is the UK's national guarantee scheme for proof-of-age cards. The scheme was launched to bring in a common standard, an easily recognizable identity and a robust accreditation process to help protect retailers of age-related sales, and their employees from the myriad of fake cards used throughout the country. The problem is bouncers obviously need to be told that such a scheme exists.
It’s similar to problems surrounding disability. People are ignorant and need to learn. Hopefully bouncers will read this post (don’t snigger) and become educated so that I don’t have to wait out in the cold and feel like I’m pulling a fast one.
Bye for now!