Note: Things are a little crazy right now, but I’m going to continue posting stuff I hope brings you a smile. Stay safe and stay strong. We will get through it together.
My first time in a gay bar was as a straight man. Okay, I wasn’t straight. I was gay as the day is long, but I hadn’t come out yet, even to myself. Nobody knew I wasn’t straight. I was struggling with my homosexuality at that time (still do sometimes). I was hoping I wasn’t gay. I didn’t want to be gay.
I went to college in a smallish college town that had one gay bar. There were no gay bars where I grew up. It was also the only bar with a dance floor and really good music. People from my dorm (well, the girls and my roommate) liked to go there to dance and I went with them one evening. I think the girls felt safe there as they were unlikely to be harassed and while technically a gay bar, it was welcoming to all. Before college, I didn’t know any other gay people. In that bar, there were dozens and my brain overloaded. They looked like “normal” people, only better dressed. They came in all shapes and sizes, and I was attracted to several of the men there that night, and one in particular. Honestly, I had no clue about other homosexuals, only that I suspected I was one. That night confirmed my suspicions.
I walked past that bar every Friday night for a month. I looked over my shoulder to make sure no one who knew me was around. I made several attempts to enter, but always chickened out. I finally went in one night. I was nervous as fuck. I furtively looked around and went to the bar. I got a drink and snuck out to the back patio where I ran into…my roommate. Shit, shit, shit. We both made excuses for being there. We liked to dance, we liked the music, we had so much fun there. Neither of us was ready to admit we were gay to each other let alone anyone else we knew, so we easily accepted the excuses because neither of us were ready to be out. We kept up that lie for quite some time.
Eventually, I got comfortable going to that bar. It was a safe space to finally explore my homosexuality. I made some friends. I kissed boys. I got fucked for the first time in my life in the alley outside that bar. but every single time, I looked over my shoulder just to make sure no one I knew saw me.
The bar burned down after my junior year and they didn’t reopen it. My safe space was gone and I didn’t know where else to go. I had gay friends by then though and I had started to come out. I did that slowly. I only told a few people and swore them to secrecy. I didn’t come out fully until I was 25. It was a very different time back then. When I see young gay people embrace their sexuality, I’m so proud of them and I’m glad society had grown up enough for them to do it. I often wish I had. Oh, by the way, my roommate finally came out too.