It’s been 50 years since the law has changed and now LGBT+ people are finally able to live their lives as they should.
Today I am going to share two stories from two people about their experiences.
“I first realised I was into girls when I was about 6/7, but as I had a very gender neutral upbringing at first with no one telling me how to live life, I never understood what those feelings were. When I got a bit older my parents got very religious and homophobic/ transphobic, so I was 17 when I came out as bi to my friends. At 18 I heard about trans for the first time, but I wasn’t ready to accept myself for who I am. At 19 I came out as a lesbian, and at 21 as trans. I’ve since terminated contact with my parents and live as a very happy heterosexual, trans man!
Coming out as bi was a very emotional and tough thing to do, because I had to accept things about myself that I was told for so many years are ‘wrong’ etc, but at the same time it was the start of a healing process of learning that it’s okay to be different and so in a way it was a very empowering thing.
I feel so much more wholesome now. I feel that I’m able to express who I am as a person 100% now that I’m completely out, instead of having to hide parts of ‘me’ all the time and putting on this facade of pretending to be someone I’m not.
I think life is always going to be full of struggles, in one way or another, so it would be wrong of me to say that I haven’t.”
Adam also has something special to say towards the people out there who struggling with life and the younger generation of the LGBT+ community.
“My advice is this quote from A A Milne: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” If you know who you are, no matter who stands in your way to becoming that person – never give up, never let anyone stop you. For some people it’s a tough journey, filled with many bad days and many tears and many moments where you want to lose hope, but absolutely nothing is better than that day where you can finally live your life as who you want to be.”
“I was around 8/9 when I first realised as I had feelings for a girl in my year. We kissed a few times but it was in the toilets as we didn’t want anyone knowing. I came out about it a couple years ago. My mum knows and she’s fine with it. I haven’t told my dad though.”
Zoshy’s advice to the community:
“The stigma needs to be ended. Be proud for who you are and if people don’t like it then they aren’t worth your time.”
I know what you’re thinking when I say “California Inn” but I can assure you it’s something definitely different.
When I was living on my own in my early 20s, I was still struggling to come out to everyone as transgender but I had already came out as bisexual so my way of escaping from the homophobic intolerant scene was going to Luton’s popular gay bar, California Inn on Chapel Street.
For many years I have drunk, danced and singed at the California Inn and I have met a lot of gay and lesbian people and made a lot of LGBT+ friends.
The California Inn has been around for over 10 years. They have a jukebox, DJ turntable, a mini bar, a dance floor, a karaoke machine and a garden for the smokers.
A lot has changed since July, 2013. The only people I knew who worked at the California Inn aka “the Cali” were former owner Gerry, barmaid Dawn and DJ Fluffy.
The California Inn has had a lot of drag queen shows as well as karaoke nights and parties.
(World AIDS day event)
In my own personal experience, I’d say that the California Inn is probably the best bar to go to if you’re in Luton and just want a small night out.
Kink was a club I frequently visited but it had a few bad vibes which is probably why it got closed down permanently.
I shared an amazing kiss in the parking lot across the road opposite the club that I will forever treasure and never forget.
Kink was next to Wellington Street near another gay club called “Flame”.
Kink has been known to have a lot of dodgy clubbers, a lot of people felt quite uncomfortable which is why I only visited the club on just a few occasions.
Flame has been the most successful gay club in Luton in Bedfordshire, it is also the biggest and safest gay club that has been around for many years.
The club has separate toilets but also a shared unisex toilet. There’s another dance floor and bar upstairs and downstairs is a dancing pole and a stage which features a lot of events.
It’s been a very long time since I last partied at Flame but I remember they had an event called “Drink the bar dry” where you pay £20.00 for a wristband and order as many drinks as you wanted but unfortunately the club would end up packed and it’d take almost forever to get a free drink.
Flame is open from 8pm – 12am on a Friday, 12am – 3:30pm on a Saturday which starts again around 8pm – 12am, the club is closed all day and night on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Flame is open from 8pm – 1:15am on a Thursday then on a Monday it’s 12pm – 1:15am.
Gay Scenes in Hull, East Yorkshire
The Propaganda is one of Hull’s most popular and largest gay clubs near the city centre, just across from the restaurant Wings and near the interchange.
The Propaganda has been known to be friendly and have many events.
Since last year, Hull was named the city of culture 2017. Hull has a large number of LGBT+ citizens and Leeds has a popular gender clinic which helps people transition.
Lili Elbe aka “The Danish Girl” was the first recognisable person to have Gender Reassignment Surgery. Unfortunately in 1931 on September 13, Lili Elbe went into cardiac arrest and died after contracting an infection whilst undergoing a further operation to implant a uterus and reconstruct the vagina.
Channel 4 and 50 Years of Decriminalisation
As part of celebrating Pride 2017 and celebrating 50 years of freedom, Channel 4 has been hosting a season of 50 Shades of Gay. So far we’ve had Britain’s Great Gay Buildings, Pop Pride and Prejudice and on Monday the 3rd of July at 10pm on Channel 4, Rupert Everett will be hosting the final programme, 50 Shades of Gay. Rupert Everett was best known for his role in the American comedy “My Best Friend’s Wedding”. Rupert will be discussing the history homosexuality.