A halo that shine brightly, even with the smudges!

Posted: August 9, 2011 in About Me

You have a halo that shines brightly, but it has smudges on it that however hard you rub you will never be able to remove. What exactly did my English teacher mean by that?

A woman that I would consider to be another brick in my construction, the woman that brought poetry to life and introduced me to the world of some of the best sonnets and tales around. The woman that showed that even teachers could get it wrong and never judged by your actions, always there with a smile and a friendly word. Even 2 minutes after I told her to stick her lesson up her arse!

That night I went home and sat like a rabbit caught in the headlights everytime the phone rang, ‘I’ll get it’, and off I raced. She asked for my home number and said she was going to ring my mum that night to talk things through. The call never came. Was that because I gave her the wrong number or the fact it was used as a scare tactic??

Sackville Street, Bradford. The home of the gay nightclub. Picture the scene, a backstreet door that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a school yard, cheap dirty imitation leopard skin print wallpaper, and the ugliest looking drag man sat behind a Perspex screen wearing fish net stockings that looked as though they had been up and down more than I had hot dinners, and a wig that would have put the world of Lilly Savage to shame. I paid my £5 and walked in.

Great!! The music was blearing out, the room rather dark and there were people in there!
Many people and not the age range of the sun! maybe I would meet some people my own age…

It was a great night. I danced the night away, and drank the bar dry of vodka, but no kiss!

Never mind…I had a great time.

Time passed and so did the S29 club. After a few years it closed its doors and a new place opened called Life. It didn’t have the charm or the tacky image of the S29. It became known locally as club ‘getta’ Life, and was rather fitting!!

The next brick in my wall came during this time. I hit Leeds.
Queens court, Fibre, Bridge, here I come! So there I went. Hit the bars and drank the vodka as if it was free. Mondays were the best night with drinks only £1 each, the place was heaving and it was great. The only down fall was having to hit the 11.35pm train home. It was always packed. Many people hit the streets of Leeds from Bradford on a Monday and the last train home was a place I made some of my friends as we all climbed on board. The party continued for the half hour journey back, and from time to time the party lead us to one of the people’s houses from the train. This was the start of going out and living my gay lifestyle, and the start of what could be a downward spiral again for me.

The gay world is so cutting. If you are not muscled, toned, sun kissed, classed as good looking or there in the ‘in-crowd’ then there is no place for you. I was there on the outside looking in, but I didn’t care. I was surrounded by people that were like me and that’s what mattered. All that I needed to sort out was the fact that anyone over the age of 40 thought they had the right to feel you up!
This was far from my thing and what I wanted. I learnt to control this with my witty cutting comments and by walking off.

Time passed and I got a job behind the bar in Bradford’s newest gay pub, the courtyard. I loved it. I had the control of who was served, when and by whom. I seemed to have friends at my disposal; everyone wants to be the barman’s mate!

Again, another brick in my wall.

Here I had some great nights and some horrible ones. One of those nights all hell broke loose and ended up with a paving slab being hurled at the bouncer, which missed him completely and whacked a girl full pelt around the head. There was blood everywhere.

After many amonths here the place closed and that was the end of the courtyard. I was 23 and loving it.

So here I am in this place, sat in the middle of Liverpool City Centre, looking out off my balcony at the brick wall in front of me, and marking off the bricks one by one…

Since venturing into the city which people have had an impact on my life??

The first has to be the van drivers who brought me here. It all happened one Friday night when the van was booked and I was ready to move out of the house. A major turning point for me. A big decision and one that I had thought through over and over again. I was saying goodbye, I was turning my back on what I had and making a stand. Most importantly I was saying look what you have lost and f**k you!!

The van was packed and off we set. I was going to start my new life, I had made it. This was the start and it was only 20 minutes away….well so I thought!

No sooner had we set off there was black smoke billowing from the van. The van that had all my worldly possessions in was smoking like a burning building. Great!! It’s the gear box, its gone….the journey took 3 hours.

I arrived, it was great.

I walked into this ‘battery hen’ style apartment, this was my newhome. My new life. The whole apartment was smaller than the front room in the
house I had left behind. I didn’t unpack anything, I just sat in the corner and looked at everything I had and cried. I stayed in the corner for about an hour then walked out the front door and into the city.

I wanted to see it by night.
I wanted to see it without anyone around.

I wandered the streets and took it all in. The only company I had was the discarded crisp packets, ciggerette ends and newspapers blowing in the wind. I walked down to the river side and listened to the sound of the water hitting the shore. This was my new home and I was taking it in.

Many years since I had been on gaydar and I decided to join again. Nothing had changed. It had been 6 years and everything was the same, the same colour, pictures and even some of the same people.

That’s where I met one of the first people I met in Liverpool.
A sweet guy that made me smile and laugh. A guy that didn’t judge me and wanted to know me for me. But he was worried, he was scared that I would judge him and turn my back on him. In fact he taught me a great deal in the space of a very short time. Yeah he is HIV+ but so what? Does that make any difference to the friendship that we were building? Not in my eyes or in his.

People in this world are way too judgemental, and usually don’t know all the facts before they make up their minds. I wasn’t going to start judging anyone, I never have and I am not about to start doing that!

We talked through it all and he said to ask what questions I wanted and that I would never be put at any risk by him, I believed him, and I asked many questions. I felt at times like I was prying and that it was upsetting him but he told me to do it. I hope it’s a friendship that will stay with me for a long time. He is a great mate and lifts my spirits with a smile or a silly text.


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