Luchia Fitzgerald: [00:00:00] I was frightened and confused and all the rest of it, as a lot of people of my age would have been and I had nobody to turn to. I didn’t know what to do or where to go. So I thought to myself, I’ll try this pub at the weekend when I’ve finished work.
Dr. Sarah Feinstein: [00:00:16] What was the name of the pub?
Luchia Fitzgerald: [00:00:17] It was called the Union Hotel in Manchester, and I lived 17 miles away. So at the weekend, I decided to go down there. I stood outside for hours. I wouldn’t go in. I stood on the Canal Street looking at all these people going in and out and in and out. I saw men dressed up as women and vice versa, and people that looked fairly ordinary to me because I’d never seen anything like it in my life. However, I was I could identify, but not with either one of what I saw, because none of them looked what you would describe as normal, except for maybe one or two that was going in, which gave me some form of relief because I was neither butch nor femme, I was in between. Eventually, I took off my ankle socks and slipped on my shoes and tidied myself up and went in and stood at the bar.
Luchia Fitzgerald: [00:01:13] And the landlord must have known at the time that I was young, and he said, Is it a lemonade love? And I said, Yes, it is, please, thank you. And I said, right. And then I went into one of the rooms and sat down and I stayed there for a couple of hours and people said hello as they were going in and out and various things. And that was my first experience of being an out gay. Absolutely ignorant. No, absolutely nothing whatsoever. No education and no mentors. Nobody told me nothing, but I was happy sitting there because I felt loved and I felt warm and I didn’t feel threatened in any shape or form.