Written by ThomLanders
Being my last week in Sydney before I make the move to become another Aussie cliché in London, I thought what better time than now to look back on the past four and half years (or 54 months) that I’ve lived in gay ol’ Sydney town?!
I was born in Sydney, grew up in Newcastle, went to boarding school in Sydney, went to uni in Bathurst and then moved straight back to Sydney to start work; so I’ve always felt that Sydney is the home I come back to. I mean I loved growing up in Newcastle but when there’s only one gay club and you can’t tell the difference between the gays and the lesbians (they all look like the emo offspring of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga) you know it’s time to spread your wings and look for gayer pastures.
Which is what I did – working in Surry Hills and living next to Newtown, well, you can’t swing a dick without hitting a gay. I’ve loved walking down Crown Street each morning, ordering my coffee and admiring the gays as they mince along toting their gym bags on the way to work. I’ve loved walking up King Street absorbing all of the weird and wonderful artsy types – from the rockabilly barbers to the failed artists baristas and all of the stoned vintage shop girls in between. I accept their quirks and they accept my mainstream/top 40 attitude. It’s been real.
The past four and a half years have been quite epic to say the least. It began how I imagine most little twink’s adventures start in Sydney – out on Oxford Street most nights of the week. Of course I was earning shit house money so my rent was often paid by my mum while my hard earned cash (or lack there of) went towards booze, cover charges and other party essentials. I was only 20 and having the time of my life. I was living with my brother at that stage and he aptly nicknamed me the ‘tourist attraction’. It’s not my fault that I went through a lengthy stage of picking up foreigners – I was blond-haired, blue-eyed and thin back then (cute as a button!) I also love accents so I didn’t need much convincing when asked if I wanted to go back to someone’s hotel room.
It was also in that first year living in Sydney that I came out to my parents. I mean, I didn’t really need to come out; it’s pretty damn obvious. But one forgettable night at ARQ my drink was spiked and I woke up three doors up from my house on my neighbour’s couch. I had lost everything – my wallet, my cards, my soul, my dignity – but miraculously I still had my phone. So I made the awkward phone call to my mother…
Me: You need to cancel all my cards
Me: Because my drink was spiked last night and I passed out and lost everything
Mum: Where were you?
Mum: Where’s that?
Me: Taylor Square
Mum: Why do you go to all these gay clubs?
Me: For Christ’s sake mum – we’re gay!
Mum: (screams and hangs up the phone)
You’ll notice I said, “we’re gay!” Yep, accidentally came out for both my brother and I in the heat of the moment. Whoops! I had to call dad to calm mum down. His response to my coming out was a casual, “yeah, and?” Good ol’ dad. Quite funny looking back on it now, almost gave the poor thing a heart attack at the time though...
Reflecting back on my time in Sydney I can’t overlook the amazing (and some not-so-amazing) housemates I’ve had. Tida, Jenn, Mati, Mel and Eddie (who will continue to be my fetch betch of a roomie in London!) were IN-CRED. Together we had so many fun nights in, eating crappy food and watching trashy reality TV. We also had many nights out and boozy Sunday sessions on the grassy knoll at the Hendo Palace, which often ended with a bottle of poppers being passed around and being totally disgraced in front of the neighbours.
They were always there to offer me a glass of wine as I walked in from a shit day at work, they were always there to offer me a glass of wine after a tough gym workout and they were always there to offer my a glass of wine at 8am in the morning after a fab night at ARQ. Love you bitches!
I’m glad to say that over the past four and a half years I have remained in close contact with my oldest and dearest friends from Newcastle (as we spread all over the country) while making so many amazing new friends along the way! In this tough ol’ bitch of a city you really do need a group of true friends to keep you grounded and sane. The scene can be a nasty vacuum without them.
Over the years there have been the Mardi Gras events, the Sleaze Balls and everything else in between. I’ve harped on before about the pride that fills you during Mardi Gras time, but everyday life living in Sydney has given me the opportunity to really be part of the gay community. I’ve met people, seen things, experienced things and been involved in things I would never have had the chance to do if I hadn’t been living in Sydney (mind out of the gutter – not all of them involve lube!)
She can be a harsh ol’ girl, but Sydney will always be my home. She really is one big, bad, beautiful bitch.