The hardest part about being gay in Sydney is fitting in with the so-called "gay community". I say that because to me 'community' represents a group of people with something in common who share a common bond and therefore a gay community would be just that, however that isn't quite so accurate because unless you fit into the stereotypical mould created by gay people in Sydney you're not made very welcome there.
I'm not into the hypnotic doof doof beat of house music, I don't do party drugs and I certainly don't want to go to a gay bar to pick up or cruise the dance floor. I soon became bored with the predictable music and just as predictable sweaty, torsos flinging themselves wildly about the dance floor as they look about the bar with drugged glazed eyes to see who is watching them gyrating suggestively.
Choi always craved the ubiquitous gay bars and most certainly the Midnight Shift (a favourite amongst asian gay men) Frankly I prefer to put my glass down onto a table where it doesn't stick, like your jeans do when you sit on one of their chairs or your shoes do as you walk through the semen stained men's room.
I encouraged parties at our home and soon enough Choi's friends began doing the same and we enjoyed going to many of them. However one particular friend of Choi's, Terry the amateur photographer and a member of the Refugee Review Tribunal who has a fetish for anything asian including younger men, was always a chore.
Terry would give birthday parties for his much younger asian lover (the one who eventually left him after gaining his Australian citizenship for someone closer to his own age), parties for his photographs and parties for anything else that called for boasting eg: a sofa he bought while travelling through Japan, his pedigree oriental kittens, his discovery of a more expensive toilet paper... okay maybe I'm exaggerating about the sofa. Choi would turn up his eyes whenever the invitation would arrive declaring that we'd been invited to another of Terry's parties with his rent a crowd friends.
Sure enough on arrival to Terry's house decked out in oriental furniture, asian paintings, oriental vases, lamps, oriental cushions and Terry surrounded by the same crowd of considerably younger asian men all giggling like school girls and arching their eyebrows as I entered the house (my Mother use to say Terry seemed to her more of a paedophile than an older gay man) Terry would greet us with a hug and a kiss to Choi and a dismissive wave of the hand to me.
As Terry squirreled Choi away to the bowels of his home to meet "who ever" I'd be left to the mercy of the throng of giggling asian men glaring at me yet not wanting to speak to me. Eventually I learnt to pluck up the courage to speak to people, but soon discovered that talking to a gay guy, especially if he's young and asian, is considered you are trying to pick him up rather than just being polite or friendly. Believe me I'm a one man show and for as long as I was in a relationship I had no interest in picking anyone up.
Terry on the other hand would delight in reminiscing with Choi about the "good times" they had when they were a couple. They'd talk about their travels together or Terry would remind Choi of someone they once met. I was never included in conversation and I felt like I did trapped at his mother's house in Malaysia with no where to go and not understanding the lingo.
Yes Terry was a constant fly in my ointment, but one I had to bear because he was Choi's friend and they had a "special kind of friendship" which according to Choi no-one would come betweeen.
After Choi had thrown me out Terry would confess to me (in our only conversation which was over the phone) that Choi had pulled the same stunt with him. Choi had found someone else and was planning how he would step out of the relationship when Terry overheard his phone conversation with his newer lover. Terry said he needed years of professional counselling to get over the trauma of what had happened even though they'd only been living together for 4 years. As far as I know Terry is having the same professional counselling now to deal with the trauma of his young lover leaving him almost 5 years ago. He's a delicate flower apparently.
(to be continued...)