Last Thursday, for the umpteenth time I was about to find an excuse not to go out on Friday night with my colleagues. Then I thought..why not. Yolo. Lol
So Friday, I put on a sequined top under my jacket, jeans, heels were in my bag cause I didn’t wanta break my legs walking on ice in them thank you very much. Finished my shift at 11.30pm and waited for those who finished at midnight.
A little background, the party crew includes L and G who were dating, R, C, K, A, W and Sy, the group leader (who is flamboyantly gay and loves going to gay bars lol). I think that was the main attraction... I wanted to go to a gay bar.
So we went to Rusty’s, an entertainment and late night venue. It's located in Newcastle’s Time Square/Centre for Life. The bar attracts a mixed clientele of gay and straight and features live cabaret entertainment from its owner Rusty (sadly s/he didn’t perform on this particular Friday).
From the glass I could see bare torsoed muscular waiters moving around guests with bottles. *eyes agape* Unfazed, I followed my party in. Color me gay.
Inside was dark and gothic-like. Stairs to another sitting level were on either side of the bars. The stage for the cabaret was round the corner. I got a pinot (hated it) and went to find somewhere to seat. Met A who had arrived earlier. She is my best buddy from work (as bookish as I am). That just made my day. we sat, drank and gossiped as we watched the antics of drunk revellers lol.
I was itching to dance but the music was neither pop nor recent. Imagine music from Chicago, even I Dreamed a Dream (dance version), FAME, Cher's Believe and like. No PSquare here.
Well, when the desirable is unavailable, the available becomes desirable. I wanted to dance and dance I did. Moreover with a half a glass of orange juice and vodka I was very ‘happy’ J.
So, I got to find out one of the girls at work C, was lesbian. I only mention it cause it was there starring me in the face but I didn’t know..compared to Sy who I sussed was gay by the 3rd day of training: He was uber comfortable with the gals, puffy hair, fashionable, has an eye for color, has the wittiest comebacks and had this affected way of talking and using his hands. Yup stereotypical.
C is a very pretty girl. I think I had told her so before too (face palm). I couldn’t understand her love for low hanging baggy jeans, t-shirts and trainers. She treated the guys in a jocular manner. She also had this boyish way of walking/bouncing, rolling her shoulders, her head.
I kept hoping for the day she will get over this ‘tomboyish phase’ and start wearing dresses. Or when the love of a good guy will soften her up. You see my life? A put me right thankfully.
I was gisting about this to a friend and he said ‘Who made you Inspector Gadget?’ And he is right. Does Sy/C/R being gay add or detract from the kind of persons they are or the work they do? Nooo. The only knowledge advantage I can think of is to prevent making a faux pas in conversation.
Anywho, as we packed our bags and coats to leave about 3am (it was snowing heavily), there was Sy in the corner sucking tongues with this guy he had introduced to us earlier. We rolled eyes and exited to find a taxi. That matter no be small thing. Newcastle is busiest on Friday night/Saturday mornings. It was almost an hr before I got mine.
I saw Sy today and I was like "Hey Sy. I had a great night. hope we do it again" and he was like “Cool. Cause I can’t remember much of the night. I only remember waking up with a strange guy in my room Saturday morn”. *poker face*
I couldn’t but think of the situation in Nigeria and why we think that imposing on the liberties of a group of people because of their sexual behavior is humane or right. Or why we have taken it upon ourselves to become Judge and Jury, defenders of Heterosexual Sex.
According to recent data from NACA , over a third of new HIV infections in Nigeria occurred among MSM, sex workers and their clients. And Nigerian MSM are more than fifteen times more likely to acquire HIV, compared to other men in the general population. We know the negative impact that criminalization and prejudice poses for individuals who face all forms of blackmail, family rejection and police brutality (See Prism’s post here). All the talk of “Zero discrimination” or an “AIDS free generation” will be meaningless if efforts are not made to stop the zeal of legislators wishing to criminalize types sexual behaviors between consenting adult men or women through The Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill before the Nigerian Senate now. (culled from here).
I keep thinking, if you send them to jail the what happens? They sober up in prison? They become straight? Or is it society’s way of keeping them out of sight of holy people?
One of the bare torsoed waiters who came to ask if we wanted more drinks looked decidedly Nigerian. I remember looking at him and smiling and thinking..lucky escape for you!
I won’t lie my last convo with Sy sent shivers down my spine for him. In this day and age, having random sexual encounters is as dangerous as driving without brakes. I recently had my Cervical screening done after putting it off for two years. I also decided to throw in a sexual health check-HIV/STD it was free after all. Scariest 7 days of my life waiting for my result. Every kiss was magnified. Ghosts of boyfriends past, their ex-girlfriends and the ex-girlfriend’s boyfriends haunted me big time!! Anywho, I am clear. All sins forgiven. A born again Virgin.
Why am I sharing? Go check yourself. And don’t put off that cervical smear if you are 25 and over, especially for those in the UK who can get it done free. A stitch in time saves nine.
*NACA - National AIDS Control Agency
*MSM - Men who have Sex with Men