Grimsby may be voted the worse place to live in England but its definitely not the worst place to be queer.
My coming out story:
I was born in Grimsby, and came out as a lesbian at the age of 15. When I broke the news to my parents, I was surprised at how easy and actually funny it all turned out to be. I remember my mum’s response like it was yesterday…
Me: “Mum, I think there is something wrong with me.”
Mum: “What?! Why would there be anything wrong with you?”
Me: “I mean, I think I’m different if you know what I mean.”
Mum: “What? Are you gay or something?”
Mum: “Phew. I thought you were gonna tell me you were on drugs or something.”
And my dad’s hilarious reaction:
Me: “Dad, I think I’m gay.”
Dad: “Sweet! Now I can drive around in my car with my music blasting and my arm resting on my car door saying, ‘Yeah, thats right, my daughters gay.’ Cool!”
Being a lesbian during my college years was fairly easy too. Many of my school friends also came out as lesbians and we would often hang out at the bars in the town center together. We created a lesbian group without even knowing it. When we went on a night out in Grimsby, we would discover other groups of lesbians and queer people. We always seemed to be surrounded by gayness. It was great! We had fun together, we celebrated our diversity, and built a stronger LGBTQ community in our home town.
Dating in Grimsby:
Undoubtably, lesbian communities are always small and they are especially small in Grimsby. So yes, being a lesbian in Grimsby was fun and easy but unfortunately, it is a very small town, so it is inevitable and nearly impossible for lesbians to not share partners. Everyone sleeps with everyone and everyone knows about it. However, many straight girls from Grimsby also tend to be sexually open to lesbian encounters so it wasn’t always all that bad. You can often find lesbians dating girls who don’t identify as queer but are open minded and like to explore their sexuality. Thankfully, sexual fluidity helps mix things up when the lesbian circles have too much drama going on.
LGBTQ friendly bars and events:
Grimsby doesn’t have a gay bar anymore but all, if not most, of the bars are queer friendly. ‘Secrets,’ was the only gay bar in town and it changed names and location all the time until it eventually closed. ‘Secrets’ was a really fun bar to go watch drag shows and socialize with other queer people. Not having a gay bar didn’t really matter though because all the bars in Grimsby accepted and celebrated the LGBTQ community. Grimsby also has an annual LGBTQ celebration: PRIDE! Every summer people gather to watch the performances, socialize, and party together. Grimsby Pride is not the best but at least our small town celebrates it’s beautiful and diverse LGBTQ community.
I can honestly say that I truly enjoyed being a lesbian in my home town. I now have amazing memories and amazing friends that made Grimsby a great place to be queer. Thanks Grimsby, I might be a millions miles away and might never live in you again, but I will always be grateful for the open-minded town that you are.