Let's start a war, start a nuclear war,
At the gay bar, gay bar, gay bar.
-Gay Bar, Electric Six
The city can be a dangerous place at night. Muggers, pickpockets, rapists, people just plain looking for a fight- they exist in Manchester like they do in any other built-up area. Manchester’s Gay Village, home to a plethora of bars with varying levels of gayness, is a popular destination for a night out as revellers of any orientation believe that they will be safer there. After all, when was the last time you saw a gay man in a fist fight?
Straight girls flock to the Village but increasingly, straight men do too. With there being a lot of girls in our group, that’s probably why we went there. They think they won’t get pestered by straight guys, and there won’t be any trouble. Unfortunately for them, that’s not really the case these days.
The Village is just off Portland Street in the city centre. One of the more straight places is View on Canal Street, a two-level bar playing middle-of-the-road moderately cheesy music to the stuffed-in crowd.
Saturday night’s most memorable moment may have been the scrap between two groups of young lads. My guess is they were all straight, but who knows. A gang of Smurfs- topless boys dipped in blue body paint and wearing white shorts- dived head-first into a messy brawl with another (more regularly-dressed) group of lads. The doormen dived in, getting blue smeared on their black overcoats, the Smurfs’ trademark white hats falling off in the scuffle.
“Don’t choke him,” I shouted to no-one in particular. “He might go blu- oh.”
Smurf after Smurf got yanked out by security, plastic glasses spilling out of their paling painted hands, beer running blue over the tiled floor.
From the full-length canal-side windows, we could see the Smurfs turfed one-by-one onto the canal pathway. Back out in the cold, the boys had better run.
It’s still only March, I thought, watching, and you’re in Northern England. And you're only wearing shorts. And you’re surrounded by randy homosexuals.