A LGBT Community History Project

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My first visit was a nerve-wracking experience. I remember climbing up what seemed like a never-ending staircase, up and up, not quite knowing what to expect when I got to my destination. At the top of the building I found a small, smoky room and a small group of men drinking and chatting in the coffee bar. I was made to feel welcome and although I probably never said more than a few words all evening, I knew that things were about to change for the better.

Although looking back with hindsight, I could never say the Gay scene in Liverpool was brilliant, it certainly sparkled at the time. The Curzon, Lisbon, Paco’s, Reflections and Sadie’s became the centre of my expanding world. Everything felt ‘new’ and ‘exciting’. I couldn’t believe that these places existed, where gay people could meet and enjoy themselves.

My favourite bar was Reflections. It became a regular meeting place on Thursday nights after Friend closed. It had two rooms, but I tended to go to the ‘quieter’ bar area (where the walls were a deep red). It was a place I could be myself and meet friends. It was here I first saw two men openly kissing in public. They were very much in love (or lust). I felt embarrassed and felt I had to turn away and yet I couldn’t stop myself from gazing. This is what I wanted, a happy, loving relationship with another man.

Naively I expected everything to suddenly fall into place. I thought the world would come falling at my feet, I would meet a man and we would be just like lovers in the movies and live happily ever after. Like everyone else I’ve had ‘ups and downs’ along the way, but I am now in a long-term relationship with a lovely man called S. We have been together almost eleven years.

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