I was given a bit of a surprise recently, a wake-up call even, when visiting different areas of the UK. I realised that not everywhere is as gay-friendly as Newcastle.
Now, some of you may be thinking, well yes, silly, you should know that. Others may be thinking – Newcastle? Gay friendly? Well, yes, on the whole it is. My partner and I walk down the street hand-in-hand, generally no problemo. The only comment we’ve had in the past year is ‘les-be-having you’ from a rather inebriated happy fellow outside of a pub.
Walking through the lovely city of Glasgow however, the general feel was somewhat less accommodating. No comments, but lots of double-takes, lots of frowns, lots of words between people. No-one tends to bat an eye in the toon.
Again, in the not-so-far away leafy suburbs of Prudhoe (that’s pronounced Prudder to all ye non-Northerners) the vibe was not exactly progressive. Taking an ambling stroll up the hill to the local Co-op in search of hummus, we had one car honk, and minutes later, someone else shout ‘lezzers’ from their car. I found it really peculiar. There we were, on an affable street, on a warm bank holiday, being drive-by abused.
Perhaps it’s because of Newcastle’s dedicated (albeit a little dull) gay scene, or maybe its Universities ensuring there is a constant flow and flux of different types of people, but there doesn’t seem to be much trouble. I mean, as long as you’re not stupid. Don’t wander into a hardcore Geordie footie-style pub and start snogging, but every morning before I hop on my second (yes, second) bus of my commute I give my partner a kiss and say ‘love you’. No-one seems to mind. And bus-users are a curious bunch. Not all disenchanted Lib Dem voters and vegans I tell you.
I wonder where the other oddly homophobic areas of the country are? York’s cool, Leeds is sweet, Edinburgh seems a-okay… to be honest, I don’t oft venture elsewhere than these so… how about you let me know? Home Counties homos, how do you find things? Mancs, can you caress your man without a care? It’s made me a little sad, a little disenchanted with the old GB, and I would like some affirmation, or some assurance. LGBTUK, is GB really that Great?
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