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First Visit to a Gay Bar, the Dorchester


Richard's first visit to a gay venue was the in where he went with his friend Jason. he describes the he was wearing at the time.

"I wore a big long coat over a pair of trousers I'd run up - black leatherette with white over locking - some Vivienne Westwood rocking horse shoes with 4-inch platforms - you rocked on them like a boat. I'd also made a pink furry phallus, attached with safety pins in front of my own trousers, and a tee-shirt with another (phallus) from Vivienne Westwood's 'Britain must go Pagan' collection. My hair was probably leopard skin at the time, I used to be a hair model for Vidal Sassoon, I was quite willing for them to do what they liked. I ended up having leopard skin, zebra print, maps of the world, on my head.

"I remember getting out of Jason's car. I was quite nervous as I hadn't been to a gay club before and didn't know what to expect, I fell over on the gravel in the car park a couple of times, but got in there and it was great! Then, a lot of people made the effort to dress up, a lot of people like me. I didn't feel I was pushing boundaries, from that night I remember talking to a lot of people, having a dance, feeling quite relaxed, and it started from there, that Saturday night out. Coming from a small county town, I was probably the only gay person there as far as I'm aware.

"The Dorchester club was on two floors. You walked into a very big dance floor area, behind which was seating and behind that the café. There was a gallery upstairs, which had lots of seating. It was a very big place. It became quite a gay destination that year. Clone Zone had a shop; there was pumping music, lights, it was very exciting."

Contributed by: Richard Keddie, 31

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