I've been having a rethink about Whanganui's Cossie Club and the RSA joining together under a new identity - Club Metro.

I obviously missed the intention of the good members of both clubs - those who knew about the competition for a new name and were able to contribute - who settled amicably on Club Metro.

Yes, the name is ubiquitous, and yes it throws up more than 320,000 results in a Google search, but in the Whanganui context it shows a willingness to welcome a part of the community often sidelined.

To the committee that chose the name: what a wonderful demonstration of the club's spirit of inclusion and understanding. You should be congratulated, not admonished.

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For too long the LGBTQ sector has been stealthily excluded from mainstream drinking establishments, but a name like Club Metro suddenly throws up a welcome sign and acknowledges the variety of people that make up our community.

It's a big gesture and one that can only be of value to the two (now one) clubs.

Outsiders often (obviously wrongly) label the old Cossie Club and its members as conservative and perhaps a little protective of their sanctuary, but to embrace a name associated with smooth muscled men on friendly terms with each other and same-sex nightclubs with disco balls and 80s music, is to show more than tolerance; it's extending the warm hand of invitation.

The name Club Metro is changing the very nature of the combined clubs in a way we should acknowledge as being courageous and unexpected.

Still, that's how people are - unpredictable.

The Wanganui Cosmopolitan Club and Wanganui RSA are evidently looking towards a very different future and a much enhanced membership.

Their new outlook can only have a positive effect on the diverse make-up of the Whanganui community and provide a new venue and a warm welcome to new members.

They will be more than another, unexpected source of income, but will broaden the individual outlook of many who were once branded conventional.

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