My boyfriend was the only Asian on the scene
"When I go back to Manchester, walking round the city centre, it's nowhere near as mixed culturally as Birmingham. When I first came to Birmingham in 1990, when my boyfriend was Asian, if we went out on the gay scene there were no other Asians, except there was one who came in occasionally from Leicestershire, and one local lad I used to see knocking around on the gay scene who seemed to be comfortable with his sexuality, but by and large there weren't that many black and Asian people in evidence on the gay scene, and Birmingham was almost as culturally diverse sixteen years ago as it is now. That did seem odd, but that has changed, and over the last five or ten years we are seeing more people from the black and Asian communities on the current gay scene. Since about 2000 there are even 'Asian gay nights' being held regularly, every month, and that's a good development because it has helped people meet others with similar backgrounds to themselves". So we are seeing a slightly greater confidence in people whose backgrounds are quite different to mine or white people in general".
The discussion then moved on to the wider implications of living in a multi-cultural society. Mike said he didn't see Birmingham as being a racist city, it has grown into a multi-cultural city, more at ease with itself than many Northern cities where there is a greater degree of separatism, on the part of all communities. He identified it as a natural inclination on the part of all groups to stick together but said that now, "on Broad Street you will see people in mixed groups out enjoying themselves. That really is an indication that the city has moved on, and is seen over the past five or ten years on the gay scene too."
Contributed by: Mike