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Working at the Nightingale


Garry worked at the new when he came to Birmingham as a mature student. He worked there not for the money but to make friends. (From 1994 onwards the Nightingale was in its current premises in ). Women were allowed in at this time, but there was only one female bar staff at this time. Staff had to be gay, which is not the case now, although there were no means of proof.

He felt that visiting the club made him "shock-proof" about people and in relation to what is "normal". His straight relations were more shocked by what they saw when they went to the club and also by the openly sexual nature of the discussion which was often very frank. Garry felt that this was because this was the only space where gay people could be frank and open because they had to hide so much in the rest of their lives and be more self-protective.

Contributed by: Garry Jones, 47

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