It was around September last year when I went to a lesbian club. There was a new club in St Kilda, launching a girls night event on Fridays. It was called Chances. A few friends I know from a lesbian group wanted to check out the club and so they posted an invitation. I wasn't going to go but Miss Bouncy and a couple other friends insisted that I should go with them. Well, with nothing to lose I eventually agreed to go. On the day, we went to have a dinner in Emporium, then having desserts at Passionflower in Bourke Street. By 10 PM we headed to Chances.
We rode tram 96 that took us to the club. It was like fifteen minutes ride. By the time we got closer to our destination, I realised I was growing nervous. Like, seriously, this would be my first time going to such club. I tried having a conversation with my friends to hide my nervousness. If anything, they would have noticed. But they didn't. When the tram finally stopped at the stop where we were supposed to get off, I swear my heart skipped a beat. In a bad way. What the fuck am I doing? Why the hell did I agree to this? What if I met someone I know who isn't suppose to know I'm gay? For the record, I was--am--paranoia when it comes to this matter.
For another record, I was--am--quite closed regarding my sexuality and that time I was about to be out. It was like admitting to the entire world that hey, I'm gay! But I couldn't back off and getting all cold feet when I was already there, right? So, I braced myself and followed my friends as they walked toward the club. We paid the entry fee and had our hands stamped. Music was banging loudly upstairs, as loud as my thumping heart. The music got louder as we approached the room, echoing through the soundproof walls. Lucky for me the room was dimmed and I could barely see the faces around me. Or better, no one could see me.
For a club, the venue wasn't so big. It was a square room with a dance floor in the middle. A bar on one side, booths on the opposite with couches and tables and lit-candles on it, a balcony on the other side and DJ booth on the opposite of the balcony. We went straight to the bar and my friends ordered some drinks. I'd like to stay sober, so I got myself a coke, which tasted more like water. As my eyes got used to the darkness, I looked around. The room was filled with girls and it was packed. I suddenly felt all claustrophobic. Never in my life I've been to a room full of lesbian this amount. I was petrified, to be honest.
I felt like everyone was staring at me, which was a completely stupid thought because they were all busy dancing and partying. Why would they notice a scared newbie? Except one or two of them did. So, I sticked close to my friends and even told them not to leave alone. We took a seat on one of the booths near the dance floor. It gave me a full view of the entire club and this time I looked around and noticed the people. Most of them were young girls; butches, femmes, trannies, tomboys, andros and so on. Some were in their 20s and 30s, and even some were really, really old. Too old to go out clubbing, in my opinion (yes, subjectively). So far I didn't see anyone that is my type. (Well, I don't really have a type.) I looked over the people on the dance floor and spotted the DJ. She was a blonde, wearing a fitted-short dress, and was hot. At least the DJ was a candy for the eyes, although she played pop songs all night. After my brief inspection, I concluded that everything screamed lesbian.
Sipping my Coke, I remained seated for almost half an hour until a girl came and stood in front of me. She held out her hands and asked for a dance. I nearly choked on my Coke. Someone, I bet it was one of my friends, pushed me up to my feet and took my drink, yelling, "Go dance!" I helplessly took the girl's hands and followed her to the dance floor. Only then I remembered that I'm--was--a robot. I couldn't dance. I didn't know how to groove. Part of my body under my hips was totally numb. But I danced all the same, though I wouldn't call it a dance in so many ways. After a while, I started feeling loose and relax. Well, I didn't see anyone I know so I was relieved and actually enjoying the night a bit. I danced with the girl and talked with her. We practically had to yell.
As the night growing late, I went back to my seat after dancing with the girl. Then another girl approached me and asked for a dance. Oh well, couldn't really say no, I got to my feet and followed her. We started dancing and suddenly she leaned closer and said, "It's okay if you want to sit with your girlfriend, though." I didn't know who she was referring to, but I told her that I don't have a girlfriend. Then she mouthed, "Oh, good then." Ha! What a way to find out whether I was single or taken.
By the end of the night, I've known some people, although I couldn't remember their names. I danced with strangers and with my friends. I got a few new names on my Facebook, because they asked for it. Eventually, it was a fun night, though at first I was chickened out by my own fear and paranoia. For sure that night led me to another LGBT events and parties. It's still not my thing, but I don't mind doing it once in a while. You know, partying, dancing, drinking, having fun in a way that is not reading.
By now, I feel a bit open, although I'm still being careful as always. It loosen me a bit but doesn't mean that I'm ready to be fully out of closet, or going to be anytime soon. Just because I'm now living in a country that is more acceptable, doesn't mean I can cope with it easily. And no one can make me do it but myself, when I'm ready. I put myself wherever I want to be. I decide. No one else but me. And that's why I skipped the Pride march on last Sunday. It wasn't a top ten in my bucket list of things I have to do before I die, anyway. Definitely I can live without going to Pride.
Until next post.