Stuart | 39 | Tamworth, England | I.T. Technician
My first experience of a gay club was when I was 23 years old (in 1995) when I was on a work night out in Birmingham with a group of friends. We were all straight with the exception of one gay friend of ours. It was one of those typical Friday nights, fuelled by beer, wine and spirits and once we had enough of bars and pubs the conversation shifted to which club we were going to.
The list of possible venues moved on to include gay clubs. Until this point in my life I had assumed that gay clubs resembled the Blue Oyster Bar from the film Police Academy (full of men dressed in black leather with Freddie Mercury moustaches). To say I was apprehensive and even nervous would be an understatement!
We ended up in a club called Tin Tins (which unfortunately isn’t there anymore) and the first thing that struck me when I entered was that I couldn’t see any big moustaches! In fact perhaps the only give-away that this was a gay club was the tall drag queen taking money at the door. She greeted everyone with a warm smile and she had me laughing my head off before I entered the club! First impressions – what a friendly place!
So after a couple of hours in Tin Tins I found myself wondering why I hadn’t been here before!! It was one of the best clubs in Birmingham! They played amazing tunes and the atmosphere was electric. There were no moody characters looking for trouble, just a load of people looking for a great night out.
"At one point in the evening I bumped into an old friend from school and found myself thinking, “I didn’t know he was gay!” In fact he wasn’t gay. He was another straight guy like me on a night out
in one of Birmingham’s best clubs, enjoying the music and soaking up the vibe."
So after this night, I regularly went to gay clubs in Birmingham. I knew that I could always be guaranteed a good night out, not just in Tin Tins but other bars too. In 2002 I was out for a night out in The Village which is a pub on Hurst Street, a place I loved going to for the music (they played awesome deep house in the garden). It was that night that I ended up casually talking to a girl who I assumed must have been a lesbian.
"Although I frequently went out to these gay bars and was straight, it took me
Anyway this girl, like me, wasn’t gay after all and she ended up becoming my girlfriend. 10 years on we’re still together and very happy! It turns out she was in The Village to avoid the usual types of people who hassled her all night in the straight clubs. She went to gay bars with her friend because she knew that doing so would always end up being a great night. I couldn’t agree more!