east london pub

I will never forget my first night out on the gay scene back in 2004. I was a mere baby at seventeen, having only experienced the gay scene via Queer As Folk, so I was expecting something glossy, vibrant and young.

My friends took me to a little gay East-End pub in London; it was dark, dirty (sticky floors, blocked, overflowing toilets… you get the picture) and played music from the eighties, it was a throw back in time. The regulars were large older men, perched at the bar by the door, pint in hand, to assess any newcomer that crossed the threshold, their appearance was threatening to my naive eyes, but I remember the warmth in their smiles. 

Within thirty minutes I was drunk, joyously dancing amongst the throng of men, my arms in the air and generally having the best night of my life as the disco lights darted across the small, sticky dance floor. 

Things took a turn for the unexpected when I witnessed my first ever drag act scoop chocolate spread from an inflatable sheep’s arse and throw it at the audience, it definitely wasn’t in Queer As Folk but I loved the spontaneity! I looked around at the audience expecting them to be outraged that they were being splattered in ‘shit’ but all I could see was smiling faces and roaring laughter, everybody was relaxed and happy. 

That first night out on the gay scene, all those years ago, taught me to never judge, assume or expect anything other than to have the best night of your life, something the gay scene has provided me ever since.

It’s not a wild, hair-raising tale but I’ve enjoyed reminiscing!