I would definitely recommend a private social club even if it means a 0.80 megameter (500 miles) trip to the nearest big city. I have listed nearly all the cruising places, steam baths, gay bars and private social clubs in Canada as well as in neighboring American cities. A date in < mar 1971 > form means that information about that place was current on that date. Since gay places have a tendency to pop up like puff balls and to die off like drosophila priapus and since the type of clientele at any one place changes almost monthly, such information goes stale very quickly, if ever you run across any information of this sort, please pass it along, even if it is just to confirm what I have written.
Now that you have decided that you want to come out, what do you do? why don’t you do the same thing as about 1000 people before you have done? In the following paragraphs I am going to give you ridiculously explicit instructions. you will soon learn that if you did not follow them, you would get on just as well. I will also describe a lot of irrelevant details so that your whole evening will have a haven’t-I-done-this-before? feeling about it. Buy a copy of your local underground newspaper and look on the unclassified ads page for an ad that looks something like this:
That phone number and box number are no longer valid.
Chances are you have done this step already. The next step is to get up enough nerve to phone. A booming masculine voice (mine) will answer with Greetings! If you are at all typical, you will panic and hang up. A few days later after a few beers late at night, you will finally pluck up the courage to phone again. We will talk for a while and I will ask you a barrage of questions such as: Are you married?, Do you consider yourself hip or non-hip?, Do you know any gays in Vancouver?, How old are you?, where can I mail you a copy of my booklet? You in turn will give me a fake name and the address of a friend of yours to mail it to. I will invite you to come down for a talk perhaps on the following Tuesday at 7:00 P.M. You will agree to come down. Tuesday finally rolls around and typically you will lose your nerve and will break the appointment without even telling me. Wednesday morning arrives and my booklet (the thing you are holding in your hands right now) appears in the morning mail in a plain brown envelope. You have probably just snuck off to the attic to read it, but because the print is so fine, you can’t read it in such poor light.
After finishing this booklet, you should feel ready to try again. Phone me up and make another appointment to come down perhaps Wednesday night at 7:00 P.M. after driving around for 20 minutes trying to find a parking space, walk up to the old castle of a building where I live at 1019 Gilford street in the west end. push the doorbell for apartment 4 and walk into the foyer as the door is not locked. Go up the stairs to the second floor and knock loudly. a very handsome guy will answer the door. This is not me but my lover Ben. Look into the green-carpeted octagonal room littered with lawn chairs. (I am a poor student who cannot afford better furniture.) Around the edges of the room are an aquarium and two orange trees. I will stumble into the room (all 6 foot 3 of me, usually sloppily dressed) and ask what would you like coffee or tea?
This is the last thing you expect to hear. You expect me to say The bedroom is this way or Take off your clothes, but here I am prattling about tea!
After you slop coffee all over yourself, you will gradually stop shaking enough to start talking. After assuring yourself that I truly am a homosexual — (because I surely don’t look, talk, or act as you know one should), you will spill out your sexual life history. By the end of it you will feel elated. The huge weight of having to bear your problem totally on your own will be lifted. You have found someone who is not only unshockable but also sympathetic. You will feel so happy that you will make a pass at Ben or myself. It will be declined gently. You will promise to come again for the Friday night gathering at 9:00 P.M. preparatory to going to the B&B (a private social club).
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