"You'll like it here" said John as he took me to the Anchor for the first time. It turned out to be a monumental understatement as it became a home from home for the next ten years and one of the happiest times of my life.It was a sombre transition from school. John was getting more interested in girls and although I still saw a couple of friends from school, I had started to make new ones at the Anchor. It was a little world on its own: a safe haven.
This was a time when blackmail was rife and your "gay world" was defined by who you knew. Gay clubs and pubs didn't exist unless someone told you of them. If you were shy then "gay life" could end up being a solitary person. But for me in the club I had everything I could want. Every sport you could think of, a bar, a television lounge, men, sex and a great group of friends who knew I preferred men but weren't too bothered. It was also where I was to meet my first love. So I've now decided that if I ever meet John again, I'll kneel down and kiss his feet.
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