Thursday 22 February 2018

Cereal Killer Cafe twins reveal they are gay and open up about homophobic experiences in Belfast

Brothers Alan and Gary Keery from Belfast
Brothers Alan and Gary Keery from Belfast

Claire Williamson

The Belfast twins behind the Cereal Killer Cafe in London have revealed they are gay as they told of their experience of homophobia in Belfast.

Brothers Alan and Gary Keery from Belfast opened their first cafe in Shoreditch in London in December 2014 and opened a second branch in Camden six months later.

The Cereal Killer Cafe is the UK's first speciality cereal cafe selling more than 120 types of cereal from around the world.

The 33-year-old twins spoke for the first time about their sexuality in an interview with Attitude magazine, a prominent publication on gay lifestyles in Britain.

During the interview Alan told of his experience of sneaking in underage to one of Belfast's only two gay clubs.

He described to the magazine how it was the late 90s, and the club had blacked out windows for protection. Alan’s identical twin Gary had come out as gay the year before as the pair waited together at a bus stop.

Alan said: "There was a group of people waiting outside to beat up the gays.

They said:  “Growing up in Belfast there are a lot of homophobic people and a lot of fights. There are amazing people, and it’s come on amazingly, but even now, Northern Ireland is the only place in the UK where gays can’t get married.

"It’s embarrassing for Belfast and Northern Ireland.”

In September the Cereal Killer Cafe came under attack by mobs of  "anti-gentrification" demonstrators.

The brothers said it was a terrifying" experience for staff when protesters wearing pig masks and carrying flaming torches attacked the shop in Brick Lane as disorder broke out.

At the time Co-owner Alan said: "They see us as one of the biggest symbols of gentrification in the area."

He said it was "absurd" that activists were targeting their shop, which they said was just a small business.

The cafe's website says: "To create the perfect bowl of cereal you can choose from 30 different varieties of milk and 20 different toppings. To give you the real sugar rush feeling you had when you were a kid come and visit us for breakfast, lunch or dinner in our nostalgic cafe displaying hundreds of pieces of memorabilia from the 80s and 90s for you to feast your eyes on."

Belfast Telegraph

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