Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Pride

🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈


Before I came out  , I led a busy, social if fairly asexual life.
I had a large urban family of friends , most of whom I still keep in touch with, had a good job in a city that was as interesting as it was grubby and was as happy as I could ever be.
But I was gay and then hadn't quite let the cat out of the bag to myself so to speak

In this Pride week I recalled a moment that helped turn the tables on my slightly apathetic closet lifestyle
And it was all to do with Sheffield's Central city library's reference reading room.
I used to go there on a spare day off or a morning before a late shift.
I always liked the desks that all pointed in the same direction . The fact you only saw the back of people's heads as they studied and the delightfully Deco wooden book filled shelves and the giant  metal rimmed windows that filtered the light from Surrey Street and Tudor Square

That day I was reading. I can't remember what ...but I do remember  a young man walking by my seat from behind with his rucksack creaking as he brushed past. He half turned his head as he passed and dropped a small piece of paper in front of me before walking to the front of the seating area then turning right and back out of the room.
He had thick dark hair and wore a untidy green jumper like students often do.
I was suddenly conscious that other people may have seen his note drop and I felt strangely embarrassed by it, but carefully I opened the paper and read a Sheffield telephone number proceeded by the name Alan.
I had been cruised!
Cruised in the Sheffield City Library!

How exciting!
I may have not fully recognised my own gayness back then but thankfully someone else had and from almost nowhere and one phone call later I had my first proper gay date with a guy called Alan who had a scruffy green jumper and who lived in Sheffield.🌈🌈🌈

104 comments:

  1. Oooh errr. You fast cat you

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  2. Just think it could have been a toilet.

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    Replies
    1. No time wasting in a toilet.

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    2. Did you ever go to gay cruising bars?

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    3. A few bars, the scene in Sheffield then was pretty dire

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    4. There's loads listed on Google in London. I was watching the George Michael story the other night. That's what brought it to mind. x

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    5. I think most gay pubs are just pick up joints.

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    6. I remember going to London .. Soho in the early 80's...it was an exciting place to be for a couple of country bumpkins such as my boyfriend and I... we walked around and saw the sights and decided we needed a drink and a toilet stop. We stopped in at this fantastic pub.. name unknown.. he needed the loo...I sat gazing in the sights... he took off up a ladder of a staircase to the bogs... up.. up.. up... left and right and up...I looked around the pub and wondered why it felt so strange... then I realised we were in a gay pub..hahaha...about 5 minutes later .. my very straight boyfriend legged it down the very vertigo causing staircase very spooked... he was like quick ... lets go. I was in hysterics. I never asked what happened in the bogs but we left none the less.

      Jo in Auckland, NZ

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    7. Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack your story...I just realised.. but your comment about gay pubs being pick up joints jogged my memory

      Jo

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  3. That's possibly the sweetest thing I've ever read. A different time. x

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  4. What a lovely story x

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  5. someone thought you were cute!

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    Replies
    1. Don't forget butch!

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    2. Too bloody right

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    3. OF COURSE you still are cute AND butch, luv!

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  6. I used to work in that very Reference Library!

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    Replies
    1. I always sat at
      the front on the left

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  7. Sweet little memory story . . .

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  8. I am racking my memory, but I don't think I have ever picked up in a library, mind a pick and myself did go to the State public library to do what had to be done. I've done the phone number on paper drop twice, without success. Nice memory John, and you must have felt pretty good about being lusted after.

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    1. It was a red letter event Andrew. I was flattered. Excited and happy all tolled into one

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  9. Replies
    1. A short lived one. He was a student studying engineering . He had floppy hair and a so he bed

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  10. Blimey; no-one ever dropped me a telephone number!

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  11. I like that story :o)

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  12. That was wonderful John-so romantic and possibly very erotic in the musky library x

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    1. Yess John-I think it would be in a dim lit ,musky ,testosterone fueled library with the possibility of the librarian catching yourself and Alan in flagrante x

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  13. A thrilling moment! and now a great memory.

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  14. Jimmy Buffet did a song called "Love in the Library." It was sweet. Just like your story.

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  15. Lucky you! Sadly the libraries of my youth were never haunted by attractive young men. ;-)

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  16. How delicious...

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  17. Lovely story. Did you ever drop such a note yourself?

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    Replies
    1. No......never had the guts

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  18. You made me smile this morning. Thanks for the happiness.

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    Replies
    1. Enjoy your day Joanne xx

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  19. I found this so interesting John. My oldest and dearest friend is gay and is now in a very happy civil partnership which is working so well and has been doing for the last ten years or so but who was well into his fifties before he came out. I had never thought of him as gay and it was such a shock but a happy one as he had always seemed such a lonely chap.

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    Replies
    1. I've never really felt lonely pat

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  20. He'd had his eye on you for a while no doubt.

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    1. I remember him saying he saw me once before and knew I was a nurse

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  21. It is fun being noticed.

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    Replies
    1. At any age David

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    2. YES, someone made a pass at me recently, I was stunned, but honored that someone noticed. Many years ago I was in a bookstore, and someone walked by and muttered “fagot” and I responded in a loud voice, THANK YOU FOR NOTICING!

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    3. Recently ? How wonderful x

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  22. When my son was born, he had 2 "fairy" godmothers.
    Richard and Sy. They appointed themselves his godmothers and they were the best you could wish for.

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  23. I love this story! I'm so glad you called him!

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  24. awwww such a happy story.

    cheers, parsnip

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    Replies
    1. Not that happy we only dated a couple of times , but it was a start gayle x

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  25. Here's to Alan, wherever he may be!

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    Replies
    1. He wanted to work on oil rigs as I remember

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  26. A wonderful story. He saw the real you.

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    Replies
    1. I must look good from behind!!!!

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  27. Once upon a time, I had a gay friend called Alan.

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  28. Smoothly too, I may add.

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  29. What a thrill for you! How old were you? Were you living away from home and on your own? I love your comment reply that he had floppy hair and a single bed...so...if he got a good haircut and bought a bigger bed, would the romance have lasted?

    lizzy

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  30. Anonymous6:22 pm

    1991 ish i was 29.yes on my own
    (John Here)

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    1. Oh I pictured you being much younger, how difficult it must have been for you, not knowing or acknowledging being gay. It sounds lonely, despite your having lots of friends. I hope things are better and freer now for the generations coming up now and in the future.
      x

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    2. It wasn't a bad time at all. Many gay men my age who came out earlier at the height of aids etc had a dreadful time. I , think I was more comfortable in my own skin, comfortable with my support and comfortable in my confidence as a more mature twenty something

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    3. That's good then, the timing was for the best.

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  31. Wow! Good for you! That's a great memory. It's interesting how libraries, despite their bookish and celibate image, often wind up being pretty sexy places.

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  32. A young woman left a note under my windscreen wiper on a car once (old Volvo - again). I did a bit of detective work and ended up knocking on her door. She was shocked to see me standing there, but not as shocked as her boyfriend. We had a brief affair, and now she is a mother of adult children - by the same boyfriend.

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    Replies
    1. Desperate, were you? Detective work? And you had a "brief" affair. A cheater into the bargain. Is there no end to your charms and seductive talents?

      No hug, plenty of hisses,
      U

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    2. Now it would seem that people swipe left or swipe right

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    3. John, the thing I mot dislike bout the bitch above is that she carries out bitter and personal attacks on other people from other people's blogs. She has attacked dear Joanne Noragon twice in one day over at mine. Why do you tolerate her? She is disgusting.

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    4. Let everyone make their decisions....I have found fighting her makes things worse

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    5. Joanne is one of life's sweet people....everyone knows that x

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    6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  33. "a city that was as interesting as it was grubby". Hey! That's my adopted city you are talking about dude! Expect a letter from Sheffield City Council's legal department.

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    1. My adopted city too xxx

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    2. Yeah. But you left it old chum.

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  34. What a beautiful story! I love that it was in a library.

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  35. I was the only one in my public library when I was young. Great dates with books.

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    Replies
    1. I still can smell that reference library

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  36. This strikes me as quite a tender moment. And, as always, so well told.

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  37. Hell, at least he was mannered. I was in a library once and had a guy grab his jewels and motioned for me to follow to the restroom. The nerve!!!!


    And I was only a senior in high school then!!!!! But you remind me of another story too, I may have to blog that once day.

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    1. Share it with the group! X

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  38. John, you cheeky devil! Love it! Cruising the library...well I nev...oh wait, ok, never mind, I did .

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  39. Ron and I snickered at reading this, John. I too was pushed out of my secure closet by a note I found in my locker at university. And I haven't looked back since. Thanks Ron.

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  40. What a romantic story John good on Alan and you for picking up the phone.

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  41. Nice! You got checked out like a book in a library!

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  42. Here's a little nudge to get this posting up to and over the century line.

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  43. And all these years later you’d still recognized Alan. If he only knew the difference he made in your life. Libraries are famously cruisy.

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  44. I love origin stories and I love libraries. Adding secret notes makes this the best Pride story!

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  45. Good for Alan, spotting your true self and encouraging you to reveal it. A life-changing note in Sheffield City Library!

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