I read Mr. Pinks coming out posts with interest further down on the blog. Fascinating stuff and hopefully a reflection of the way Ireland is getting more tolerant. One of the doorstaff in our club told me he had to take a night off work to go to his 17 year old nephews 'Coming Out' party. Can you get those sort of greetings cards in Easons? Probably.
My mate Mark came out about 10 years ago. Mark grew up in a run down part of the inner city and is hard as nails. A third level education could result in you having the shit kicked out of you where Mark was from so he kept things to himself for years. I never suspected a thing until the moment he told me. Then it became obvious. In his quest to keep things quiet he used to date women; or as he recently told me 'I've had more pussy than most straight men". The fucker.
For a while after his departure from the closet Mark defined himself by his sexuality. Everything became a gay issue (we once convinced him that the City Council were beginning to install 'gay cycle lanes' on Georges Street). If he stopped for a coffee it had to be in a gay cafe; if he bought a newspaper it had to be in a particular Spar because the word on the street was that it was a 'gay spar'. We had business cards printed up with 'queer' as his job description. He loved it. We found it amusing - he was living 30 years of his life as quickly as he could.
Occasionally we'd go to a gay bar with him. I'm a liberal kinda modern bloke that has the pet shop boys on my mp3 player. We figured it was a way of giving him a bit of support. Mark only went to gay bars for about six months and then stopped. I was baffled - here was a man that used to drive from town to a fast food joint in Bray because one of the staff had once winked at him. I had to find out why he had stopped.
'Tourists'. At the weekends the surburbanites would invade his favourite pubs so they could wear their liberal colours with pride. Lippy fag hags would shout their mouths off about all men being wankers while leery straight men would fall around the place laughing at the bingo but then get offended if they got the moves put onto them. Hen partys started arriving in. He felt he was a species under observation at the zoo. One woman told him she was disappointed because he wasn't acting gay enough.
Mark loved to meet new people so I asked him what he was going to do now, and how was he going to go about pulling in the future.
'Taxi'. Yup - Mark bought a taxi plate. Hes making loads of money, meeting loads of men and still visiting that 'gay' chipper in Bray. If you do meet him some weekend - be sure to get his business card!