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“I Finally Came Out And I Was Avoiding Lesbians” (with Bobby Macumber)

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We’re headed back to the lesbian bar!

My guest on this week’s show, Bobby Macumber, is a comedian, MC and radio host from Melbourne. 

We caught up to talk about The Glasshouse, one of Melbourne’s only lesbian bars, which was open between 1991-2011. 

The Glasshouse was the very first queer bar that Bobby went to with her cricket teammates back when she was a closeted 23 year old…

In our conversation we talk all about the joys of karaoke, falling in love with straight women, and coming out to your parents via e-mail… 

Find out more about Bobby at her website, and follow her on twitter and instagram.

Bobby Macumber  0:00 

Yeah, I tried to avoid lesbians. I finally came out and I was avoiding lesbians and hooking up with straight girls.

K Anderson  0:10 

Hello, I am K Anderson and you are listening to lost spaces, the podcast that mourns the death of queer nightlife. Every episode I talk to a different person about a venue from their past, the memories are created there and the people that they used to know. Now I need to let you know something. I think I’ve met someone who loves this spreadsheet as much as I do. And her name is Bobby McCumber. Bobby is a comedian MC and Radiohead is from Melbourne, Australia, and I have to say she would probably be most organised and punctual dream guests that I’ve ever had on the show. We caught up to talk about The Glass House, one of Melbourne’s only lesbian bars, which was also the very first queer bar that Bobby ever went to, with teammates from her cricket team, back when she was a closeted 23 year old. We talked all about the joys of karaoke, falling in love with straight women, and coming out to your parents via email.

Bobby Macumber  1:40 

It’s funny cause you think that the world is going to end when you come out and you’re going to lose all of these friends. I didn’t lose any friends. If anything, I’ve a closer with so many of them because I was able to be my true self and, and open up. But of course you don’t realise that until you do it.

K Anderson  1:58 

Yeah, it’s it’s a weird thing isn’t at the planning for this disaster? that’s gonna happen, like, Yeah, right, so my family’s not gonna want to talk to me anymore. So I’m gonna have to make sure that I’ve got like living arrangements, everything in place. We’re gonna have any friends and we have to make new friends. And we have to figure out where to go and find them. Yeah, like all these and then it’s kind of a bit of a letdown when no one’s upset. Not that that’s everyone circumstance, but yeah,

Bobby Macumber  2:30 

no, no, no. And you know, it was definitely hard to tell my parents. So I came out to them via email when I was living overseas, because I tried to do it. I know, I know. I basically cc’d my brothers into the email so that they could deal with

K Anderson  2:56 

Did you use any like emojis or GIFs? The subject line as well, was it something really dramatic like ‘Something I have to tell you…’?

Bobby Macumber  3:06 

I know. Someone asked me this recently, and I and I cannot for the life of me think of what it was. Yeah, I reckon. I actually went back and looked through my emails, because I was interested to see what the email said, and then what it was, and I just remember reading it. I’m joking. I don’t know, five, seven years ago from now. And I just got so emotionally and I just went through the whole thing again, reading it, thinking what I was thinking at the time, and I just, I think I’d have a couple of wines as well. And I was like, Oh, my God, poor me. And so I haven’t looked back and someone asked me what the title was. And I was like, I don’t know. And I don’t, I can’t look back at it. But it was a letter, I attached a letter and I remember explaining because my mum actually asked me a couple of times, she’s like, you and your friend, Mon. What’s, what’s going on there? I’m just like, Mon was my straightest friend ever. Like, she’s, she’s like my best friend. She’s like, you guys hang around a lot. Like Where’s Mon? Why doesn’t she have a boyfriend? Like she? She does she have a boyfriend? Like I’ve never seen him.. like Ma! So I had to confirm in the email that Mon wasn’t my partner, but I was in fact gay. But my mother reacted as I thought she would and that’s honestly why I didn’t tell them to their face. I just couldn’t bear to see her be upset. And so she, yeah, she didn’t talk to me for about three months. My dad was good. Well, my dad was good, too. He would talk to me because I was living overseas at the time I was living in South Pacific Island, one of many where it’s illegal to be gay, even to this day. So I remember my dad saying on the phone, he’s It’s like, Oh, you know, we love you know, thanks for letting us know. Just don’t tell anyone there. And I said, Excuse me? And he’s like all because you know they don’t I know what it’s like that I’m well aware of the culture that I’m in, and my life. I don’t need you to tell me to not tell people I haven’t done people my whole life. I’m just telling you, so.

K Anderson  5:24 

That’s hard, isn’t it when your parents like go into practical mode?

Bobby Macumber  5:29 

Yeah. Yeah, as though I didn’t know how to handle Yes. Did Oh, you need to say is Yeah, love me. And he did do be fair. We did say that many he actually said, We love you. I was like, okay, is mum there? It’s like, Oh, she’s busy at the moment. Right? Do you think busy football is three months. But I did come home for a friend’s wedding. And I stayed with my parents. For a couple of nights mum and dad, they were like, stay with us. I was like I’m saying with Mon nothing. But they were like, need to stay with us. I was just trying to avoid mum. But she was really trying to get my attention. But she hadn’t spoken to me in three months. I was like, I don’t want to. I don’t want to, I don’t want to go through this if you haven’t spoken to me. But you know, she sat me down. She’s just like, Oh, you know, I just wanted to talk to you. And I was just asked to home. I was like, God, Where is dad? He was on his way home from work or something. And I just like, go get me out of here. As you said, You know, I just want to apologise for my reaction for when, you know, you send your email. I didn’t know how to react. Mom’s dad was a pastor at a church and she’s like, you know, this is my upbringing. And you get Avastin? It’s it’s illegal. And although you know, everyone else, like I had a cousin that was gay. And mum and dad were amazing. My mom was so good. So I was just, yeah, torn but and she said she was like, you know, I’m was fine with Richard and but when it was you, I just didn’t know how to handle it. She said, She goes, but, you know, I put the TV on. And Ellen was on TV. And I said, Yes. And she said, and Ellen is, you know, she’s the lesbian. I said, Yes. I know, she’s lesbian. She said, Yeah, she’s like, I didn’t realise, and I watch her every day. And she makes me laugh every day. I love Ellen. I said, Yeah. She said, and you’re a lesbian. You make me laugh. I love and she gave me a hug. And I kid you not. I laughed, and I cried. And it was, yeah. I get emotional thinking about it…

K Anderson  7:52 

That’s amazing that she she sat you down and had that conversation with you, rather than just like, oh, let’s pretend everything’s back to normal.

Bobby Macumber  8:00 

Completely. And I thought she might be like that, but yeah. Yeah, I thought it would be either pretend nothing happened, or we just wouldn’t be as close as we were. But just like all the other relationships, I think it was so much better for it. Yeah. In in every way. She proved me wrong, which was correct.

K Anderson  8:33 

Yeah, that’s wonderful. Just as an as a side note, given everything that’s happened in the last few years, how do you feel about being compared to Ellen?

Bobby Macumber  8:47 

No comments. To be fair, I think mum passed away before that stuff happened. So she can’t be held accountable later.

K Anderson  9:03 

And so where were we? We were in The Glasshouse?

Bobby Macumber  9:07 

Yeah.

K Anderson  9:08 

When did you first get in The Glasshouse?

Bobby Macumber  9:11 

Yeah, I was thinking about this before, and I think it was about like 2003. So I was probably around about 22, something like that. I was still in the closet. When I first went to The Glasshouse. I knew The Glasshouse because a bunch of women from my cricket team were going and I was there with a couple of my other closeted mates who I mean, we’re all out now. Married kids, whatever. But at the time, yeah, we were all about 2022. Something like that. And, and we were

K Anderson  9:51 

so sorry to just to interject. Yeah. from everyone on your cricket team. How many was straight.

Bobby Macumber  10:00 

When I played, it probably hasn’t changed too much. I would say it would be 50/50

K Anderson  10:09 

Oh, okay. Oh, that’s much higher than I thought it would be.

Bobby Macumber  10:13 

Yeah, no, no. Yes. Yeah, it’s about 50/50. I think that’s probably close across the board with with women’s football as well. From my experience. Yeah. Probably about 50/50. Maybe even when I first started playing cricket, it might have been a little bit higher. So maybe 60%, lesbians, gay,

K Anderson  10:34 

what’s happened to them?

Bobby Macumber  10:36 

What do you mean?

K Anderson  10:38 

down? Where did they go?

Bobby Macumber  10:41 

To hell went down. I think, you know, back in the day, when I first started playing, when I was playing cricket and everything, there was so much water, it was very stereotypical. Everyone thought lesbians played cricket. And that actually returned a lot of young girls playing the sport. I remember, like, when I was 14 years old, I made a Victorian cricket team. I was wrapped I love this game. I loved everything about it. I you know, it was 14, so I didn’t fully know, my sexuality or whatnot. And I was Christmas, family Christmas. And my auntie said, When like dad said, Oh, you know, Bobby made the Victorian team and whatnot. And like the whole family were wrapped up. But one of my auntie said, better make sure she doesn’t turn into one of those lesbians. And I was like, 14, and then a couple of the adults laughed, and my dad kind of shut it off. But they didn’t tell them off. They’ve he just talked about something else. And that’s it, like I was 14 years old. And so I know a lot of young girls wouldn’t play, because they didn’t want to be called lesbians. And I do think the numbers have gone down with a because women’s football and cricket both of them, and now. They’re more professional. It’s, there’s so many more leagues out there. There’s not this stereotype that women hide and play this sport, because it’s the men’s game. So that, you know, there would be a lot of LGBTQ plus women or people that would come and play cricket. It was a safe community for people as well.

K Anderson  12:21 

It’s so interesting, though, because you hear about, like, men no put off because you know, men are so sensitive. And put off from doing things because it’s seen as feminine, or that they gave they did it but you don’t hear much about women choosing not to do something. Because Yeah, dykey Yeah, totally. Yeah. So sorry, I cut you off. So you at The Glasshouse, with other people from your team? And yes, some of them were in the closet. Some of them weren’t.

Bobby Macumber  12:51 

Yeah, so there was a group of us, there’s probably about four of us that were all the same age. And we were all in the closet, like, to the point where I think there was that internalised homophobia, just from everyone judging us from the outside expecting us to be gay. So we were like, no, we’re not gonna show you Yeah, yeah, exactly. That’s exactly what we like will show you but you know, we’re going to this place because we’ve got other friends that are here and stuff. And, and we went and we had a good time. And we and we kind of giggled, because you know, we had never seen too many gay women before. It was exciting. It was fun. We saw a lot of people that we played cricket against. And it was a weird, but it was a fun experience. But it was also, I guess, hard for us, because we were okay, but we just hadn’t come out. But we’d love

K Anderson  13:40 

who on the team. So who on the team was out? The oligo?

Bobby Macumber  13:44 

Are the older women, I guess. Okay, yeah, so all the women that would have been in their mid to late 20s or 30s people in their 40s and they’re all comfortable with this in this game and who they were and you know, they were happy to take us out. So we went out with them. But we had a ball so so we went back. And yeah, we went back every second weekend kind of a thing for a little while. And, and then occasionally, one is not me personally, not at this time, but one of my mates would hook up with someone privately, you outside or in the toilets, and it was slowly it’s like did you like No, No, I didn’t. Just hiding what was inevitable. In this gay, lesbian bar, the glass house. So yeah, initially, my experience was, I guess discovery, to be honest with you,

K Anderson  14:38 

for all of us, okay, so like transport yourself back in time. And you’ve just walked through the front door for glass house. Tell me about what you’re seeing. Tell me about what your sense like. What are you soaking in?

Bobby Macumber  14:56 

I was like, I wasn’t in bed. But I was anxious, I would say, anxious of where I was, who would see me. I think just, that was the first place that I had been to where, like everyone was queer or an ally. But no one was judged like it was a first year gay queer venue that I had actually been to. So here there are a lot of emotions that definitely anxious would, would have been my main feeling and my main emotion when I went there the first time. And then to excitement, like it didn’t take long to kind of be like,

how cool is it. I was there with friends and stuff. So that definitely helped. And it obviously got easier over the years that I continue to go there. But

K Anderson  15:54 

Was it a place where everybody knew your name. As soon as you walk through the front door.

Bobby Macumber  15:58 

You know, it’s funny. On Sunday nights, there would be karaoke. And during women’s party season, everyone, all the football teams would go to this bar and play karaoke. So you knew a lot of the people from all the other teams. I was quite outgoing and whatnot. And I knew I was friends with lots of people from different clubs. So it literally was one of those. One of those times where I would walk in after a game of footy to karaoke, and you would like people like Bobby, hey, hey, hey, like Bobby, hey, it was brilliant. I loved it. And then my song was Whitney Houston, I want to dance with somebody. And whenever it came on ambitious song, oh my god, it was more about the dance performance on stage than the actual the actual singing. But every time that like, because I just went to every single Sunday, I bloody loved it. Every time that song Come on, I kid you not people would just start chanting Bobby. And I would just be like, making a way I’d get up on stage. And Dolly was the name of the lady that ran it. And she’s just like, here we go, Bobby, can you give someone else a go? And just like, this is my song. Yeah, it was. God, that was so much fun. And that was a few years later. So that was probably closer. I would have been in my mid mid 20s. I think I came out when I was about 25. And I would have been about 27 at this point. So I was living it up.

K Anderson  17:31 

So let’s talk about that coming out. So you said earlier that your aunt had made a remark about you turning into a lesbian because you were involved in sport, which you know, is a common occurrence. What? Like Where were you at at that point in terms of understanding your sexuality?

Bobby Macumber  17:52 

I you know, honestly, when people ask when did I know I was I was gay. I was five years old. I kid and I remember having a crush on Carly, who was in my class in grade prep.

K Anderson  18:09 

Hi, Carly.

Bobby Macumber  18:12 

And I had just held it in all my life, I think so when I was 14. I knew I

K Anderson  18:17 

did you like you know how people often minimise the relationships between women and say, like, well, they just really like each other. They’re just friends. Like, it can’t it can’t be sexual. It has to just be like a platonic thing. It’s just intense. Like, did you not have that kind of internal dialogue? Or?

Bobby Macumber  18:39 

I did about, like women at our club, for instance, there was the coach and one of the other players, and everyone, all the teenagers were saying, you know, they are a couple and we’re like, No, they’re not. They’re just really good friends. They live together. They were absolutely a couple I was at their wedding. They were together for over 20 years.

K Anderson  19:01 

But you weren’t at their wedding saying no, I think they’re just friends. We’re, you know, accepted abundance.

Bobby Macumber  19:05 

But yeah, I was absolutely one of those people going they’re just friends. Absolutely. Just friends. I did that for quite a while, actually, for many relationships proved wrong, every single time.

K Anderson  19:19 

But did you think like that about yourself, like when you were having these intense feelings? Were you trying to like justify it or write it off by saying like, Oh, it’s just a friend thing.

Bobby Macumber  19:30 

Um, you know, I knew, I don’t think I ever tried to pretend that it was just a friendship because I just had these feelings inside me that I didn’t have for boys, or you know, in primary school or high school, especially high school, I think High School. So when I was 14 to 17 Yeah, I really knew but then that was when I was also getting all these comments. So I just Try to block it out. I think I didn’t pretend that this is just an intense relationship. I knew that I was very attracted to girls in school, famous women that I saw on TV, but I just

K Anderson  20:13 

like who were your celebrity crushes advertise

Bobby Macumber  20:18 

Shannen Doherty from Beverly Hills 90210 who and I, oh, my God, madly in love with her. But you know what? I had a poster of bloody Luke Perry on my wall, just because I was trying to convince everyone that I didn’t love it. Yeah. But no, Shannen Doherty. I loved her.

K Anderson  20:33 

And and so then this, like you said about, like, just kind of ignoring it, or just kind of was that about, like, just pushing it down? And not thinking about your sexuality or thinking about, like, ever acting upon it? Or was it something else?

Bobby Macumber  20:49 

It Well, to be honest with you, I think it was shame. I was embarrassed. So I did just block it out. And hope that I might find men attractive. God and I went through some painful situations to try to convince myself that I wasn’t gay, you know, up into my early 20s. I just Yeah, really struggled, really struggled with coming out, I think. And you know, it’s interesting. Just being around such open, queer friendly environments, get it just had the opposite effect. Because of the perception of the queer community, not the queer community themselves. Okay. But it was everyone around it, whether it be, you know, society, family members, things that you’d like I would run the boundary for my brothers footy teams in country football and chairs, their homophobic slurs that would come out to the players to the men that were playing. And I would like running as a teenager, just hearing all of this stuff. It was just a lot of negativity around it. That that, I guess, yeah. Made me feel shame.

K Anderson  22:11 

Yeah. And not wanting to be associated. Yeah. And so like, going to the glass house first time when you were 2223. And then coming out at 25? Like, there’s a bit of a gap. There isn’t a two year gap there. And yeah, boy, when you say coming out, is that just like coming out to everyone? rather than coming out to yourself? Yeah.

Bobby Macumber  22:37 

When I say I came out of 25, that was when I came out to my family. So that was, what I could fully be who I wanted to be. When I was maybe a year earlier, I might have come out to friends. To my close friends knew. And I had had partners. Yeah, from probably actually, probably 25 I think I was with someone at the time. And that really made me want to, to share it with my family, like my brothers were in relationships and, and you know, their partners would come to family things. And in my mind, I was just like, Oh, well, you know, maybe my family don’t have to know about my partner. And that’s okay. That’s just one small part of life. I can we live with that? Oh, my God, of course, I can’t live with that at all. But at the time, I thought I could say coming out when I was 25 was when I came out fully. And my parents do. And that meant that it didn’t matter. Who knew. I think, before that, I was like, I had to be careful who I told because I didn’t want my parents to find out. I didn’t want this person to know. And but yeah, from 25, onwards, out and proud. And I think I’m getting proud and proud overseas go on.

K Anderson  23:46 

But that sounds really exhausting. So we were like, yeah, like I can’t be seen on this road with this person. Because then if someone drives past and sees me, then they’re going to know and then it’s going to get back to my parents. And then if I buy this kind of drink at this bar, someone’s going

Bobby Macumber  24:05 

yeah, I think, you know, my teammates knew people within my footy team, my cricket team, and like I said, my, my brothers, I told my brothers beforehand, and they were wonderful and great. But I just, I think I had a year or or two before actually coming out to my parents, thinking that it would be fine. But yeah, once I did come out it I mean, it wasn’t great at first. But in the long run, I mean, the greatest thing that I ever did, and of course, you look back hindsight says I probably should have done a daily app, but I guess I had to discover all of that stuff myself. So

K Anderson  24:43 

yeah, yeah, absolutely. And one of the unique situations I suppose that you were in, was that you were surrounded by queer women. You, you have examples in your life of people who were out and proud And just kind of getting on with things. You’ve kind of alluded to the fact before that that kind of hindered you in a way.

Bobby Macumber  25:09 

I think what made me uncomfortable was not so much them it was, it was how people reacted to them that made me uncomfortable. For example, there was a couple within my cricket team and they were openly affectionate and I mean they are a couple they can do what they want to do. And then just being around I remember we had a cricket game so we were all playing at home and we were all together. And they were just, yeah, they’re affectionate and they will find that I’m trying to say it’s okay of course it’s okay. But my feelings are that I’m feeling what I was feeling at the time. I was so uncomfortable with what people walking past

K Anderson  25:53 

will think like Hang on, hang on, was it I have no problem with them? But did I have to do it in front of me

Bobby Macumber  25:59 

reason I didn’t want them to do it because I thought other people could see it and then they would think that that was me, which it was so i think i was just so insecure about anyone finding out about me. I didn’t want people to be gay around me because then they’ll be like, oh you’re one of them like no I’m not so so inside and

K Anderson  26:23 

I’m not open minded enough to have lesbian friends

Bobby Macumber  26:28 

oh god yeah, I that those were my my teenage years.

K Anderson  26:36 

There’s something there’s something that it’s easy to romanticise about when looking back like that kind of turmoil that excitement that you had just with absolutely anything that happened you’d be conflicted and

Bobby Macumber  26:50 

stressed like my God, just chill out. No one cares. That’s the biggest thing like somebody no one cares.

K Anderson  26:58 

The The other thing like in having that group around you is that like when you actually came out where people are just like yeah, so yeah,

Bobby Macumber  27:11 

yeah, I think majority were like yeah, friends were great. I think I have a couple of friends that were just like maybe about them and like when you tell me I can’t believe you didn’t tell me like I’ve known you for this long and just like can you like I wasn’t comfortable it wasn’t it was me. But I mean that was only a couple everyone else so happy and wonderful and supportive and fine with everything.

K Anderson  27:41 

Okay, so back to The Glasshouse. What what I typically ask people when they come on this show is did you snuck anyone there not as many people as artists and TVs over there.

Bobby Macumber  28:02 

I know I’m sorry. Wonderful. I was so boring. Like it’s just I don’t know it’s an insecurity or an anxiety thing I just didn’t want to go I had all of these rules and restrictions on myself. I didn’t want to get with anyone from my football team. I didn’t want to get with anyone I would know that made it right. It does. But then I was able to get with anyone from any other footy team as well. I didn’t know I just didn’t want rumours to go like get over it. Everyone else is making out and having a good time. I was getting up on stage I had a lot of friends but I didn’t actually make out with too many people there. God how boring This is such a shit interview I’m so sorry.

K Anderson  28:47 

But so you’re telling me that every every week you did karaoke you got up on stage you saying I want to dance with somebody? Then you’ve got offstage and no one was like I want a piece of that

Bobby Macumber  29:00 

well not not all the time maybe the dancing entertain that made them laugh as opposed to be attracted but you know there were a couple but i just i don’t know i didn’t i don’t know why I’m really annoyed at myself to be honest. A bit of answer to this and that I didn’t behave better but to be honest, I think I still had these a guard up for the first few years I think was after the glass house bloody closed that I just went all out lesbian on dates, public displays of affection, crazy comfortable. I think maybe I wasn’t as as comfortable as I may have said

K Anderson  29:39 

so without projecting any stereotypes. Were you then best serial monogamist

Bobby Macumber  29:47 

Oh my god. I was oh my god. I’m absolutely Yeah, and I think my first yard I did as well which is I dated straight Women, so relationships could last six months. straight women or women that have just come out, but then weren’t weren’t sure. And, and went back. And so my first four relationships were with my first three were straight women. Next one after that was Yeah, in between. But

K Anderson  30:22 

let’s, let’s talk about that. So was it like, was that part of the appeal?

Bobby Macumber  30:28 

I liked that they weren’t from my sporting teams.

K Anderson  30:34 

But they’re there. I mean, just to play devil’s advocate, there’s probably quite a fair few lesbians that weren’t on your sporting.

Bobby Macumber  30:41 

Yes, yes. You’re right. You’re right. Yeah, I think my first few girlfriends were friends of friends outside of my queer community that I knew, which was a lot of my sporting teams. I didn’t know I just didn’t. For some reason I didn’t delve in and enjoy. enjoy myself. As much as I probably could have. And then, yeah, I tried to avoid lesbians. I finally came out and I was avoiding lesbians and hooking up with red girls. Was

K Anderson  31:18 

that part of the internalised homophobia? I don’t know.

Bobby Macumber  31:21 

I never thought about this. I kind of laughed about it. But now that we’re going through everything, chronologically, the absolutely it is that was another part of it.

K Anderson  31:31 

But it wasn’t like a thrill. It wasn’t like a like, oh, maybe I can turn them maybe I’m that powerful.

Bobby Macumber  31:43 

It was the other way around. So it was them hitting on me. I wasn’t I didn’t think at all. So it was, I guess, straight women that had been at gay clubs or friends of friends and might have been attracted to me my personality and fun and whatever else and to see everyone having fun around me like oh, yeah, I could do this. And no, not that not for more than six months anyway. So yeah, I didn’t really I I didn’t at all. I don’t think I ever went chasing straight women. I just happened to date a few.

K Anderson  32:20 

You just that’s that’s interesting. I wonder then if there was something about you that was especially appealing.

Bobby Macumber  32:28 

You know, I had a lot of fun. I was definitely lots of the party. So if anything, it might have just been that and that’s fun for a little while, then. You know, you have to realise your sexual

K Anderson  32:41 

and it’s like super boring dating straight people because like, I mean, I haven’t done it but I always just imagine like, everything would be like, would feel as though you were coercing them into.

Bobby Macumber  32:58 

You’re gonna say teaching them Jesus.

K Anderson  33:01 

Not the narrative I like cuz they have bringing all of their like, Oh, I’m not sure. So it just it seems as though you’d be like, Oh, come on, it’s just head out like just do it. But you but you were teaching them you are leading the way.

Bobby Macumber  33:20 

Which we get. That’s how I like to say, I think. Yeah, and I didn’t mind that. I thought that was fun. But I remember getting to a point and I was just like, oh my i am not dating a straight woman ever again. Or anyone that is unsure that I was just I was Yeah, I must have been in my 30s Oh, yeah.

K Anderson  33:44 

took you to your 30s to get to this.

Bobby Macumber  33:46 

Oh my gosh, it’s been such a journey. I’ve actually really enjoyed the last five years of my life. No, I think the definitely my sexuality. I think I’ve been comfortable from 30 onwards, I came in at 25. But I was still having issues, dating straight women and whatever. But yeah, I think from honestly from 30 onwards, for the last nine years, I’ve been so comfortable in my skin and I’ve dated gay women, which is great.

K Anderson  34:12 

who know what they’re doing.

Bobby Macumber  34:16 

Oh, yeah. Yeah. My fiance so we’re getting married. In December. She is bisexual. Prior to that. Yeah, my ex was was gay and like she knew she was gay. So and both just very comfortable in their skin. So that definitely made a big difference.

K Anderson  34:36 

Oh, yeah, that makes a huge difference. Yeah, because yeah, the whole the whole other thing, right guys, I just went straight to sex because that’s how my mind works. But the whole other thing I hadn’t thought about in terms of dating a straight woman is the all of the navigation of like social politics and keeping it on the DL and yeah, acting a certain way in public and then a certain way In private and all of that messiness, yeah,

Bobby Macumber  35:04 

it is it’s exhausting, especially when you’ve gone through it all beforehand. This is really, now I have to hold your hand through this. Yeah, it was nice to be in a relationship with someone who knew who they were more comfortable. And like I said, myself included.

K Anderson  35:21 

Yeah, I’ve, I like, I haven’t dated straight people. But I’ve dated like people that are in the closet, or like, kind of still knee deep in shame. And that whole thing, it’s so invalidating, it’s so like, difficult not to take it personally, even though it’s not about you. Yeah. It’s someone saying to you, like, I don’t want to be seen with you in public. I don’t want people to know about us. And there’s so much that that triggers for you. That there’s just no way that you can de personalise it.

Bobby Macumber  35:54 

Yes. Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, I definitely went through that with at least two of my early partners, where they, I mean, I’d already had all of the shame on myself. I don’t need someone else to put it on me now as well. Yeah, I definitely got confused. I confused, lust with love. When I was younger God, the things that I thought was the love. I mean, like anything you look back, and what an idiot.

K Anderson  36:22 

But I mean, I know all this all this confusing lust with love, and you didn’t even pash anyone in the bar? Anyway, so class house, sorry, taking this off. Today, do you remember hearing about the glass house closing?

Bobby Macumber  36:41 

You know, I don’t think I heard about it until after the fact. I think I was looking for a place to drink. So I haven’t been there in a little while.

K Anderson  36:51 

And is this because you were in a relationship and you’d settle down?

Bobby Macumber  36:54 

Possibly. Yeah, that maybe that might have been the case. What was it? No, you know what it was, I was actually I think I was overseas at the time. So I was living and working overseas. And then I came home. And then I wanted to catch up. And I was like, why don’t we go to the glass house? I don’t know. I could have been in a relationship that but then I went there and it was closed. And I was like, and it didn’t look like it had been open for a while. And then I remember just looking it up on my phone. Oh, and finding out that it was closing

K Anderson  37:26 

so when you were outside the bar and you looked up and you’d seen that it had closed what like what did that feel like?

Bobby Macumber  37:34 

devastated. You know, one of the main things especially like, the gay scene, this was the only lesbian bar this is the only dedicated lesbian but there was so many gay members. But the there was just nothing like this. So yeah, it was it was devastating. And I think I was just waiting for to reopen or another bar of some suits similar to open. I don’t know any. Like I said, I know that there’s a lot of gay nights that are around and that might be you know, for women or whatnot. But I have never seen anything like the glass house. And it is devastating. Like it was just such a huge part, not just for me, but for so many, you know, women in Melbourne, and it was just unfortunate that there was no other place like this available.

K Anderson  38:32 

And so do you prefer like women? Only are women heavy spaces within heavy? You know what I’m trying to get out?

Bobby Macumber  38:43 

I think I do enjoy it. Yeah, definitely. And I enjoy like a Sunday licious. So a similar thing where you know, it would be all women. But I just like the option as well. You know, it’s Yeah, I like the option. You know, there are a lot of other gay bars and clubs that I’ve been to remember, which I love as well, which we would definitely have more men and they definitely catered more for gay men. And I love those bars as well. But I did prefer the glass house. So yeah, I probably do enjoy the spaces with predominantly women.

K Anderson  39:24 

And have you sang I want to dance with somebody in other venues.

Bobby Macumber  39:28 

Many years many the glass house can’t take that away from me. I will always say yeah,

K Anderson  39:34 

like, do you never mix it up? Is it just the same song every time?

Bobby Macumber  39:37 

No, I do. I do. Know I do think that a lot. I’ll do a duet that you know what? That’s that’s actually the only song that I do. If someone says you want to sing this song with me. I’ll jump up and I’ll do another song. Push it salt and pepper. I do that as well. But once again, I think I’m all about the dance. When it comes to karaoke. I sing a little ittle bit, but it’s just about dancing that I really enjoy. I did karaoke at my sister in law’s hen’s in South Australia when they had restrictions. So security when I was onstage singing, there was a no dancing policy, which is unbelievable. But they have no dance floors open, like, in certain states. It’s when you’re on stage. I mean, it’s just given like, everyone knows that you can dance on stage anyway, I was dancing on stage and the security said on the microphone, no dancing on stage, like I interrupted, my Whitney Houston with no dancing. I was just like, excuse me. And he said, No dancing on stage. It’s illegal in this day. I was like, you can get in, I just kept dancing. And thankfully, he didn’t kick me out, had a bit of a laugh or not, well, not him, but everyone else did. But I couldn’t believe it was karaoke without dancing. Well, anyway, I kept that.

K Anderson  41:04 

I’d also like how do you define dancing? Like, what if you’re just kind of shimmying? Is that?

Bobby Macumber  41:10 

Yeah, I mean, I wasn’t shimmering. There was I mean, I was the definition of dance. I mean, there was no mistaking what I was doing on that stage.

K Anderson  41:22 

You were a competition winner. Yeah,

Bobby Macumber  41:23 

I was, well, that was my

K Anderson  41:25 

and so what did that glass house teach you about yourself?

Bobby Macumber  41:31 

You know, as a first for me in so in so many ways, like first gay bar that I went to, when I was first discovering who I am. It was one of the first venues that I did stand up comedy, which I’d love and got to perform alongside so many amazing comedians. And it was the first time that you know, my parents, I’d been to a bar with my parents, because they came to a comedy show, like I think it just had a lot of big moments. In my in my life. Like, coming out for performing, family, all of that, I mean, who would have thought, Korea family, and coming would all be a part of the glass house, but for me, it it is they had such big wonderful moments in that space. And I think I I definitely grew over the years with each of those experiences. I just had some really, really cool positive experiences happened to me in the glass house. So it’s, yeah, a lot of good memories. I think for me,

K Anderson  42:48 

depends if you could go back in time, and have a conversation with that. 20 to 23 year old Bobby, who’s just showing up at the glass house for the very first time. Other than pash more women. What advice would you give her? Yes.

Bobby Macumber  43:09 

Just relax. No one cares. You’re gay. Like you’re surrounded by gay people. Just chill the fuck out.

K Anderson  43:18 

Be more gay?

Bobby Macumber  43:19 

Yeah, have a good time. I mean, I was the more gay women. I say get out of the corner and have some fun.

K Anderson  43:30 

Do you have any memories of the glass house or clubbing from your own cuisine that you want to share? Well, if you do, please get in touch. I want to create the biggest online record of people’s memories and stories. Go to law spaces podcast.com and find the section share a lost space and tell me all about what you got up to. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as last spaces part. Find out more about Bobby at her website Bobby McCambridge calm and follow her on Twitter at Bobby McCumber and Instagram at Bobby underscore McCumber. Law spaces is not only a podcast about a concept record as well. I have been writing songs about queer venues and the people who used to live there live there, and we’ll be releasing songs over the next year. You can hear the first single well groomed boys which is also playing underneath my talking right now on all good streaming platforms. If you liked this episode, I would really appreciate if you subscribe, left a review on your podcast platform or just told people who you think might be interested in giving it a little listen to. I am K Anderson and you have been listening to lost spaces.







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