True Stories: Gay Memories – Going To A Gay Bar For The First Time #LGBTQI #LGBT

As a gay man, you may be surprised to hear that one of the biggest hurdles I faced was going into a gay bar for the first time.

Image showing rain on windscreen of a car on a Saturday night with blurry lights in the distance
True Stories – Going To A Gay Bar For The First Time

At 17-years-old, I was in awe of my straight mates. They’d been wandering into bars and nightclubs for the last year with the only threat of getting asked for age identification.

At 17-years-old, my straight mates were not only getting drunk most Friday and Saturday nights but were boasting about sleeping around with members of the opposite sex without any worry. Whether they’d slept with many of those they mentioned was open to debate.

At 17-years-old, it was against the law for me to sleep with a person of the same sex. If I boasted about it, I could get myself into trouble. The law stated that, for my safety, sex remained on hold until I reached 21.

Of course, I overlooked that particular part of the law. Like any red-blooded male at 17, my hormones made my brain think of little else but wanting to (putting it mildly) get laid.

By the time I reached my 19th birthday, I already had what I had considered a boyfriend. He was over the age of 21 and thought I was too.

On one particular, wet Saturday evening, I found myself sitting in my boyfriend’s car. Holding hands with him, we listened to the patter of the rain on the roof as we watched the raindrops splatter on the windscreen. For weeks, we’d both built up the courage to go to a gay bar for the first time.

The bar was out of town and miles from where we lived. However, neither of us wanted to get out of the car and walk up the steps to the bar. Instead, we both sat there trying our best to peer through the spattering of rain, trying to make out the figures going into the bar.

“It’s nice and warm in here,” I said.

“Yeah, too wet to go outside,” responded my boyfriend.

For the next half an hour, we made an excuse after an excuse as to why we should stay in the car. Even though curiosity ran through our minds of what was on the other side of the doors to the gay bar, our bodies remained fixed to seats while we continued peering at figures entering and exiting the bar.

“What if we bump into somebody in there who recognises us?” asked my boyfriend. “If there’s somebody in there from work, I could end up getting beaten up or sacked.”

Not only did those words cut me in half, but I began to worry that if the police raided the bar, my boyfriend and I would be in serious trouble because of my age.

Although at 19-years-old, it wasn’t against the law for me to go into a bar, I questioned if it was against the law for me to hold hands with another man in a public place.

Terrified of the consequences of entering a world where people would have welcomed and accepted us for who we were, we drove off and went home. Hiding who we were and how we lived our lives seemed a much safer option.

It would be months later when I talked about that night again.

“If somebody you worked with had been in that bar, wouldn’t they have been as terrified as we were at being spotted?” I asked.

“I never thought of that,” came the reply. “But it’s still a risk, isn’t it?”

Six years later, as I made my way on a coach to a new life, I left behind a boyfriend who had been secretly sleeping with another man he worked with.

Have you ever been terrified to do something or go somewhere for the first time? Please share the details in the comments section or, even better, contact me about submitting your story as a guest post.

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True Stories: Gay Memories – The Day My Life Changed #LGBTQI #LGBT

It was a Saturday like any other Saturday, but this one was the day my life changed forever.

A true story from Hugh.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Did You Miss Any Of These? Monthly Round-Up – November 2021

  • Why has rage and anger engulfed Richard? Is he to blame for his actions?

Candy-Coloured Rage

  • This useful feature on WordPress will help you save time when drafting blog posts. Read on for more details.

Don’t Have Enough Time To Draft Blog Posts? This WordPress Feature Helps

  • Why does a visit to a film festival bring sad memories and tears to Richard?

Theatre Of Memories

  • After witnessing the summer solstice and coming out to each other, Richard and Adrian face an important decision.

Where To From Here?

  • Are you a new blogger or new to blogging? Are you making any of these mistakes when leaving comments?

New To Blogging? These Free Tips On Leaving Comments Will Help Bring New Visitors To Your Blog

  • Which of your blog posts have been the most successful this year? You may be surprised by the results after reading my post.

How Do You Measure The Success Of Your Blog Posts?

  • Sometimes, flights are cancelled for good reasons. But it does depend on who or what is taking-off.

Ready For Take-off?

Comments are closed here. Please leave any new comments on the original posts.

***

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Where To From Here?

November 11, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase “carry on.” It can be an expression of perseverance or behaving in a particular way. It can even be luggage you take when travelling. Go where the prompt leads!


Where To From Here? – by Hugh W. Roberts

After witnessing the solstice, Richard asked, “What do we do now?”

“We carry on what we’re doing,” replied Adrian.

“But what if—“

“We’re young; we carry on who we are, not what others want us to be. Nothing and nobody can ever change us.”

“But my father, he’ll try. He’ll kill us. He’d never cope knowing I’m carrying on with another guy.”

“Carrying on? Another guy? Who do you love more, Richard?”

A long pause was interrupted when both young men turned and faced each other and spoke simultaneously.

“Let’s carry on being who we are. I love you.”

***

Richard and Adrian first appeared in Edge Of Summer – another piece of flash fiction written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge.

Image of an open road going towards the mountains
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

***

Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love Glimpses

Glimpses

28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction that take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

***

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Theatre Of Memories

November 4, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a film festival. It can be a small-town indie fest or the Festival de Cannes or anything in between. Who is in the story? An audience-goer, filmmaker, actress, or something unexpected? Through in some popcorn for fun. Go where the prompt leads!


Theatre Of Memories – by Hugh W. Roberts

“What’s the matter? Why are you crying?” whispered Adrian to his husband.

“I can’t help it,” sobbed Richard. “This LGBT film festival brings us lots to smile about, and when you see what we’re viewing on the screen right now, I can’t help but think about the times when, as a young boy, I cried myself to sleep because I thought I was all alone in this world.”

Looking around the theatre, Adrian witnessed evidence of tears and popcorn. Looking up at the screen, he squeezed Richard’s hand tight and watched the story unfold in front of the world.

Radebe Paso Dobe

 Strictly Come Dancing is a primetime TV show shown on the BBC in the United Kingdom. This year, for the first time in its history, it paired two male dancers.

***

Richard and Adrian first appeared in Edge Of Summer – another piece of flash fiction written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge.

Image of a box of popcorn, film clipper-board and film wheel
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

***

Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love Glimpses

Glimpses

28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction that take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

***

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Click the ‘Diversity with a Twist’ image to check out my latest post on my column at the Carrot Ranch.

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Candy-Coloured Rage

October 28, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features a candy kitchen. You can interpret the phrase creatively or stick to the traditional. Is it sweet? Ironic? Any genre will do. Go where the prompt leads!


Candy-Coloured Rage – by Hugh W. Roberts

He loved everything about the house except the candy-coloured kitchen.

Moving through the rooms, Richard destroyed everything in his path, keeping the best until last. His fists did all the work like giant metal balls on the end of chains that swang and knocked down old buildings.

Upon reaching the candy-coloured kitchen, his rage and anger peaked. Moments later, silence surrounded the house until the sound of sobbing interrupted his discernment of achievement.

“What have you done?” sobbed his six-year-old sister.

“If Daddy won’t let me play with your dolls’ house, then nor can you,” a wide-eyed Richard yelled.

 

***

Richard first appeared in Edge Of Summer – another piece of flash fiction written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge.

Image of the front of a store called Candy Kitchen
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

***

Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love Glimpses

Glimpses

28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction that take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

***

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Click the ‘Diversity with a Twist’ image to check out my latest post on my column at the Carrot Ranch.

Follow Hugh on his social media platforms by clicking the buttons below.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Buried

October 14, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that embraces the mud. What is the mud, real or metaphor? How does it transform a character or place? What happens? Go where the prompt leads!


Buried – by Hugh W. Roberts

Time was running out. 

It wouldn’t be long before he got found out.

Burying it, he quickly removed any signs of disturbance. 

The heavy rain and thunder didn’t help. 

With mud stuck to his hair, his clothes, and over his hands, even his fingernails would give the game away.

Although the mud had swallowed up the object, he couldn’t relax.   

“Adrian!” exclaimed Richard. “I’m home.”

Just in time, thought Adrian, as he lay a fork next to a tea plate. 

When Richard cut into a slice of chocolate mud cake with the fork and discovered the ring, he’d propose.  

***

Richard and Adrian first appeared in Edge Of Summer – another piece of flash fiction written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge.

Image of somebody wading through thick mud
Image credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

***

Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love Glimpses

Glimpses

28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction that take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

***

Diversity with a Twist Banner showing some coloured straight lines and pens on a white background

Click the ‘Diversity with a Twist’ image to check out my latest post on my column at the Carrot Ranch.

Follow Hugh on his social media platforms by clicking the buttons below.

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Sardines

October 7, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes whispers. It can be beautiful or creepy and any genre. Where are the whispers, who are they from, and what do they say if they say anything at all. Go where the prompt leads!


Sardines – by Hugh W. Roberts

“I hope he doesn’t find us,”

“So do I,” whispered Richard. “We’re in big trouble if he does.”

“Why? What’ll he do?”

“God knows,” murmured Richard, “but it won’t be nice. Now, be quiet; I hear footsteps approaching.”

“Richard!” yelled Adrian as he entered the empty bedroom.

Creaking sounds from the wardrobe grabbed his attention.

“Oh no, I think he’s going to find us,” whispered Richard just before the two doors of the wardrobe opened. “Quickly, hide.”

“Richard! Found you. But who are you talking to?” challenged Adrian.

Keep your eyes closed, and he won’t see us,” whispered Richard.

***

What is Sardines? It’s a reversal of the game Hide and Seek. Instead of everyone hiding all at once and one person doing all the seeking, the game starts with one person hiding and everyone else counting to a predetermined number.

***

Richard and Adrian first appeared in Edge Of Summer – another piece of flash fiction written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge.

Image on an autumnal tree in a cemetery
Image credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

***

Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love Glimpses

Glimpses

28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction that take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

***

Diversity with a Twist Banner showing some coloured straight lines and pens on a white background

Click the ‘Diversity with a Twist’ image to check out my latest post on my column at the Carrot Ranch.

Follow Hugh on his social media platforms by clicking the buttons below.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

A Matter Of Life And Death

September 30, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story uses the phrase, “across the water.” It can be any body of water distant or close. Who (or what) is crossing the water and why? Go where the prompt leads!


A Matter Of Life And Death – by Hugh W. Roberts

Holding on to Richard, Adrian looked out across the water.

“I told you I’d come back as a cat,” laughed Richard, “so I’m not keen being by the water.”

“But we promised we’d come to Brighton beach, ride the carousel and look out across the water on this date every year. Why wouldn’t we come this year?”

“Because it’s still too soon. Grief left empty-handed when you opened the door and let me in, but the answer to your future lays across the water.”

“But I can’t swim.”

“Who said anything about swimming to your future?” echoed Richards’s voice.

***

Richard and Adrian first appeared in Edge Of Summer – another piece of flash fiction written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge.

Image of two paddle-boarders paddling across a blue lake with mountains in the background
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

***

Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love Glimpses

Glimpses

28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction that take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

***

Diversity with a Twist Banner showing some coloured straight lines and pens on a white background

Click the ‘Diversity with a Twist’ image to check out my latest post on my column at the Carrot Ranch.

Follow Hugh on his social media platforms by clicking the buttons below.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Seat Of Horror

September 23, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about an author’s chair. It can belong to any author. Where is it located and why? Does it have special meaning? Go where the prompt leads!


Seat Of Horror – by Hugh W. Roberts

“Happy Birthday.”

“What is it?” squealed Richard as he tore off wrapping paper while Adrian took photos.

“You’ll soon find out.”

“A chair?”

“Not just any chair. Stephen King’s chair.”

“Stephen King?” You’re kidding me?”

“Nope. I got all the paperwork of authenticity.”

“I love it.”

“Get writing that first novel you keep telling us you have inside you.”

“Horror! It’ll be a horror story. It has to be horror, what with it being Stephen King’s chair.”

“Don’t let it go to your head. I’ve hidden all the knives and sharp objects but left you a pen,” giggled Adrian.

***

Richard and Adrian first appeared in Edge Of Summer – another piece of flash fiction written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge.

Image of a chair that looks as if it is floating on top of the waters of a lake.
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

***

Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love Glimpses

Glimpses

28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction that take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

***

Diversity with a Twist Banner showing some coloured straight lines and pens on a white background

Click the ‘Diversity with a Twist’ image to check out my latest post on my column at the Carrot Ranch.

Follow Hugh on his social media platforms by clicking the buttons below.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Blizzards Of The Mind

September 16, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a Big Black Horse. It can be a horse, a metaphor or an interpretation of KT Tunstall’s “Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree.” Go where the prompt leads!


Blizzards Of The Mind – by Hugh W. Roberts

“Do you remember the day we first met?”

“Why do you ask?”

“No reason. I’m curious.”

Adrian watched Richard go into deep thought.

“Did it involve a big, black horse?”

“It did, yes!”

You were riding it through a snow-covered field during a blizzard one Christmas. You and that horse stood out so much,” laughed Richard.

Smiling to himself, Adrian closed his eyes and recalled their first meeting. On Brighton beach, he watched Richard riding a big, black horse on the carousel one summer.

The early stages of Alzheimer’s were causing another blizzard in the mind of his husband.

***

Richard and Adrian first appeared in Edge Of Summer – another piece of flash fiction written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge.

Image of a big, black horse
Image credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

***

Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love Glimpses

Glimpses

28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction that take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

***

Diversity with a Twist Banner showing some coloured straight lines and pens on a white background

Click the ‘Diversity with a Twist’ image to check out my latest post on my column at the Carrot Ranch.

Follow Hugh on his social media platforms by clicking the buttons below.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

What If? #flashfiction

August 5, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about an open door. It can be literal or metaphorical. What is behind the door? Who is seeking and why? As the writer, how will you manage the discovery? Go where the prompt leads!


What If? – by Hugh W. Roberts

As I watched figures going through the open door, not even the pattering of rain on the roof of the car took away the fear I felt.

“What if…”

As my hands gripped the steering wheel tightly, anxiety began to snowball out of control.

“What if..?”

The thoughts of home and a warm bed were welcoming and safe.

“What if..?”

As I drove away, the LGBT community, who I feared, would have to wait another two years before joining them behind the open door that led to non-judgmental new friends, a new life and being who I really was.

***

Image of light coming through an partly open door.
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

***

Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you may also like…

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Click the ‘Diversity with a Twist’ image to check out my latest post on my column at the Carrot Ranch.

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Follow The Feathers #flashfiction

July 8, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features feathers. It can be a single feather or more. Where did the feather come from? Does it hold meaning to the character or story? Go where the prompt leads!


Follow The Feathers – by Hugh W. Roberts

Slowly opening the front door, thirteen-year-old Adrian listened for signs of life.

Confident that nobody was home, he stepped inside.

Should he go to the kitchen for snacks or upstairs to turn on his new Playstation?

The strange coloured feathers had the answer. Adrian picked them up as he ascended the stairs.

Walking past his parents’ bedroom, he suddenly stopped. She was wearing her favourite dress and feathered boa, applying makeup and doing her hair in the dressing table mirror, a figure he knew.

“Mum?”

“Adrian!” came the deep voice of his father, turning round to face his son.

***

Image of a white feather being highlighted against a blue sunny sky.
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

Diversity with a Twist Banner showing some coloured straight lines and pens on a white background

Click on the ‘Diversity With A Twist’ image to read my post ‘How To Write Yourself Into A Piece Of Fiction Without Knowing It’ on my new column at the Carrot Ranch


Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you may also like…

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.