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The Bay Horse, York, England (with Joseph Segaran)

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Joseph Segaran is a British Artist living and working in Amsterdam, and whose art is inspired by the architecture of the city… and you really have to check it out – black and white ink drawings which are drawn freehand using a very fine Japanese ink pen and also papercuts which are cut using a tiny craft knife from a single sheet of black paper.

But before he lived in Amsterdam he lived in Newcastle… and before that he lived in York, a small city in the north of England where he grew up. We met up to talk about The Bay Horse, a provincial gay bar in the city. 

Expect to hear about incestuous gays, having to come out to your parents twice, and, as a special treat, Josephs reads out a break up note from a man who broke his poor wee heart…

Find out more about Joseph at his website.

Joseph Segaran  00:00

Can’t remember how I heard about it, but somebody told me about a gay bar. And I thought, well, this is I should go there, this is a chance I’m going to meet people. And I’m really nervous. And I remember Wait, standing outside on the opposite side of the street on my own, just plucking up the courage to go in. Because I knew this as soon as I go in there, I’d have to do something that I’d have to speak to someone I’d have to. awesome thing might happen. So I think I stood outside for about an hour before I did.

K Anderson  00:35

Hello, I am K Anderson, and you are listening to lost spaces, a podcast that mourns the death of queer nightlife. Every episode, I talk to a different person about a venue from their past, the memories they created there, and the people that they used to know, Joseph cigar and is a British artist living and working in Amsterdam, and whose art is inspired by the architecture of the city. So if you can picture those skinny long buildings in the middle of Amsterdam, he draws these amazing line drawings of them, really capturing that kind of rickety spirit of the town. But before he lived in Amsterdam, he grew up in New York, which is this small city in the north of England. We caught up to talk about the bay horse, provincial bar, which was the very first gay venue he ever went. Let’s talk about that friend group. Yes. Now. In those small town friend groups, were actually really in any friend groups when it comes to typical men out commonly if I just said typical men. That’s very, very judgmental of me. But there’s a there’s a level of incestuous sness. Yes. Did you experience that?

Joseph Segaran  02:24

Luckily, I didn’t dive too deep myself into a group that I just kept to that one encounter with one person. But yes, I don’t I mean, I always thought it was a complex, complex group because actually, there was there was Let’s call him Dad, Ian. And, and actually, one of the people that I hung out with a lot was his youngest daughter. And she was she was only 13 or 14 times, ridiculously young. She used to come out on the weekends with us. So that was one thing I could have the fact that she she knew exactly what was going on with all the different people and she she was much more well educated in a given scene that

K Anderson  03:17

she was actually the biological daughter of someone

Joseph Segaran  03:20

biological daughter. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Okay. I think he had about four children biological children. And then he had a house and I think on and off different people lived there and and so they lived in various small villages around York. So they they weren’t from your themselves and they worked on the market, the mobile phone market stall in the in York, most of them. So very different to any other friends I had at that time. And it was definitely I think everyone within that group had slept with everybody else at some point. And if I ever met, if I especially was first gone now, if I ever if my eyes met with someone across the bar, I thought, hello, who’s this? Everybody in that group knew him or somebody was kind of, I was a little bit late to the game.

K Anderson  04:15

Did that look scupper any romantic opportunities?

Joseph Segaran  04:19

I think, by contrast, was like, I also make friends outside of that group and they played the worst music ever a mix of kind of chart music, and whatever dodgy r&b music was in in 2002 bearish music Yeah, that’s the amazing. I mean, back then. That was not the reason I was going to this. kind of start complaining about the music but but I like to dance on the weekend. I danced all night long on that day. Well, with anybody who would have me basically, but it was terrible it was it was almost as if it was just a CD because the song would be playing and you could pretty much guarantee that you knew what the next song is.

K Anderson  05:14

So not much imagination from the DJ. should know it’s terrible,

Joseph Segaran  05:17

but I hear I hear certain certain songs. And it takes me back right back that I can’t think of one right now what one one in particular is Britney Spears. toxic. They lift up over here, though, take him straight back to the dance.

K Anderson  05:42

So I feel like you’re dodging away from my questions about incestuous sness. Yes. Sara reason is that it’s um, gossip that you’re that you’re reluctant to share.

Joseph Segaran  05:53

I mean, it just, I don’t know if I can say much without just kind of saying like gossiping and say, Well, he slept with him. And

K Anderson  06:01

there is something there is something like kind of fun about working out who slept with who and like how it all links back to each other. A bit like a queer family tree or something. Yeah. So what were there ever, any times when you met someone, and were interested in them, and then found out that they slept with a good friend, and that they were actually off

Joseph Segaran  06:25

off limits because of that. Now, you’ve now you’ve dug deep enough that you have reminded me of a very traumatic extremism. So I met I met. I think one of the first times I was there, I met a guy. And he really wanted to come back to my place, but there was no way that was going to happen. So I still lived at home. But thinking back now, that was because he lived. Because if he didn’t get a lift back or get a taxi for half an hour, but no. So so we had, we did have a one night one off thing. But then he was very intense. I think I remember. Because we did, I guess when people send text messages in those days. So you had to limit their characters. Intense in text messages. May is maybe just two text messages after you meet someone. But it was that that was it was my It was really just kind of like diving into a world I didn’t know anything about. And I remember thinking like this guy in that way. But we had a, we had fun. And we had a chat. So I had no idea. That was even a possibility to tell someone, you’d slept with them. You could just like it just to be friends. And I remember that, that being incredibly difficult. And then later, realizing that anybody who walks through those doors, and is new, has probably slept with this guy. But there was one point I met, there was a guy, actually, I think had been chatting to him on the online on them back then that was Ms. MSN chats. Yes. Yeah. So I mean, well, we should talk about that. That’s, that was a great world that was, but I didn’t speaking to go. And we met. And then we went together to the bay horse. It was a night out. But I think he ended up going home with my friend. And although it was traumatizing, heartbreaking I was. I was I was so I felt so betrayed, because I thought we would go on a date. And

K Anderson  08:49

but then let’s just take it back, like just one step and talk about MSN Messenger. So jog my memory. If you were chatting to someone on there. Did you see a picture of them? No, I don’t know, definitely. Definitely not. Isn’t that so weird?

Joseph Segaran  09:11

I’m just I’ve just realized I may have called it the wrong seat seat. MSN had chat rooms. And then there was messenger, which was a kind of a, I guess it was like WhatsApp, but on the computer. But you had these chat rooms, powered by MSN, I

K Anderson  09:30

guess. Okay,

Joseph Segaran  09:31

I can’t really remember I used to. So I used to go. And I don’t know how I discovered this. But I discovered this. I think I was about 1415. And you can go into these chat rooms and they would just be these generic chat rooms where everyone could. Everyone was chatting in a big group, and then privately talked to people. And I think I used to just do that. And there was a girl at school who had had had that computer too. So we would say at school Oh I am at seven o’clock, I’m going to go on to MSN. And we would just chat with each other and and sometimes we’d say silly things in the room and laugh about it. But at some point, I realized, I discovered there was one specific one just for gay people. I think it was a UK based on but maybe it was a world based on. And then we’ll probably only 20 people at one given time chatting, but none of them would be from York. So you chat. And that was back when people used to say it was a DSL. And that was enough information to get them interested. So you’d say you’d say I’m 17, a male and they live in New York, and they just have to deal with that kind of information. Which seems almost impossible misstatement?

K Anderson  10:48

Yeah, when like, you’re supposed to give all of that information even before you start

Joseph Segaran  10:52

the CV and No, no. So at some point that progressed to I mean, that’s how I met somebody for the first time was via that. But I do remember, I don’t know if that was when I first used that. But at some point, if you did want to see a picture, then you’d have to give them a your email address, and you could email a photograph to you.

K Anderson  11:16

And so is that what happened with this guy that you went on the date with? Yes, definitely. And to who like, I mean, you know, don’t don’t tell me his name or anything. But Who was he? Was he your age? Was he?

Joseph Segaran  11:28

No, he was he was, he was slightly older. And I remember kind of connecting on an intellectual level, kind of just as we used to chat online, such a long time, about all sorts of stuff. So I think I’d kind of fallen in love with him. In a way you when you’re 17. But long story short, he ended up in a long term relationship with this guy with my friends. So I had to forgive them because I almost brought I mean, I did I brought them together, suddenly, they split up. So wasn’t the happily ever after forever. I think they were together for seven or eight years.

K Anderson  12:15

Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah, what he’s getting cuz, you know, sometimes if, if your friend hooks up with the person you like, you just have to wait a few weeks, and then they’re like, around again. Not to be in this case. But it’s, it’s fascinating, that mindset that you’re talking about when you’re 17. And every single person is the one. And if you if you sleep with them, that means Oh, my God, I must be going steady with you.

Joseph Segaran  12:48

Yeah, yeah. And I definitely went to, if, in fact, actually not. I’m thinking, I wonder if I remember he sent me emails. And they were, I found them really profound at the time. And I’m hoping I’ve saved them somewhere.

K Anderson  13:03

Okay, some of them out, reach out to me

Joseph Segaran  13:06

thinking, but I remember them really well. And I didn’t write them down some just thinking, where are they? Where are they? But I think I think why I chose to buy a horse and kind of thinking back on, on kind of exploring of sexuality and coming up with and all these kind of things is that it was just, it was a space of about one and a half to two years, where there was so many different things going on, I was getting ready to go to university on to my A Levels. I was coming out of the closet. I was having sex for the first time. And then also because they all they always seem interesting, because they didn’t that conversations weren’t about school, they were about something else. And I really enjoyed that. But like you said, when you’re 17 you’re more or less thought anybody who would have a decent conversation with me that that was some kind of love. And I would think oh, they loved me. And then if you slept with them, that was the kind of confirmation. Yeah, so we can have a nice conversation. We slept together. That’s it. What what why don’t they love me? They did get I used to get very upset when it turned out. It was just a one off thing or casual. People didn’t want relations. Because when I was 17 all I wanted more than anything in the world was with somebody to love me. Yeah, it’s very sweet.

K Anderson  14:36

I remembered lots of people when I was, you know, first coming out and stuff who would be like, yeah, I’m not going to tell my parents that I’m gay until I’m in a long term relationship, because I want them to know that I’m going to be okay. And there’s something interesting about that logic, like, there’s something about it that I agree with, but then at the same time Like, I knew some people that were waiting for years and years, still were not in a position to tell their parents because they hadn’t met anyone to be in a long term relationship with.

Joseph Segaran  15:10

It’s interesting you say that because actually not. Now that you say that, I realize that that is very much how I felt and feel with regard to my mum, probably my dad as well, but not to logics extent my mother, I think it was easy enough, coming out to my parents, but I think I think I know for a fact that that was one of my mom’s biggest worry is kind of, will he be okay? Will anybody ever love him? Will he catch things? Or will terrible things happen to him prejudice and blah, blah, blah. But I think I think probably deep in my mind, I was thinking I can’t come out into my parents until I can prove to them that I can have a loving relationship just like anybody else. Yeah, so I think I think that was definitely in the back of my mind.

K Anderson  16:07

But But did you didn’t wait until then, did you? I didn’t know. Like, how you didn’t sleep with a guy one time and then bring him home and be like, hello. You’ll tell you.

Joseph Segaran  16:20

No, that’s not. That’s not how, although it’s very similar. And I think you’ll like the stories I’ll tell you. I am actually came up twice to my parents. Oh, and the first time I guess I was probably about 1617. Although there were lots of advantages of MSN chat, the word disadvantages in that shared Family Computer. So I didn’t know about I guess, I don’t know if cookies existed them, but browse history definitely did. So my dad or my mom just found just saw in the history or the trash or something that I’d been in talking to people engage chat rooms. So they confronted me, but they found out

K Anderson  17:11

they didn’t find your porn, then I thought that’s where this was going.

Joseph Segaran  17:14

Oh, yeah, no function. not that exciting. No, but I think I think probably for most parents, but definitely from my parents, just finding that at that age that I had been in gay chat rooms was terrifying. Enough. So my dad took me aside, and we had a very serious conversation about young people having experimental phases, and this and that. And I told my dad, and he told my mom, but about a year, a year and a half later, I had a very good friend, girlfriend, and we did everything together. I think we were most classes together, and then we’d go into town together. And if we went out, we went up together. My mom kind of one day just to kind of just Just be careful, because I don’t I’m not ready to be a grandma yet. King. What do you mean, I thought like, you found out that I didn’t do any work and actually come out. And they just passed it off as a little phase. And to not do it again and say no, no, that little phase. That’s a real thing. And I really younger. I think that I don’t know, I think they were really supportive. I can’t complain. But I think that I think gave my mum lots of unnecessary worry about how things would turn out for me. Think I think the second time was worse, because they realized it wasn’t a little phase, but it was.

K Anderson  18:50

Yeah. Oh, that’s so you were going to going through life merrily thinking of you. I’ve done that. I’ve covered that off. Tell them it’s been it’s not been a big deal. That’s fine. And then you had to do it again. And it was

Joseph Segaran  19:01

Yeah. In the meantime, I had to it was relatively painless, I think. I think 60% of my friends said, Oh, I knew that already. And and the other ones said, Oh, yeah, I just thought that was Joel. I thought that’s how Joseph was so just never. Oh, yeah, that’s, oh, you’re gay. All that explains so many different things. And I didn’t have any troubles at that point at all, actually, with friends.

K Anderson  19:32

I have this weird memory like, my like, you know, it was very obvious to everyone that I was gay and like, from a very early age, people used to come up to me in the schoolyard and be like, you’re gonna be gay when you grow older. But when after I came out, I remember my mom saying to me, oh, your dad was saying that. When you were at the beach, you will looking really intensely at these women. So he thinks maybe it’s just a face. Like, I remember just being really confused, like which women What? What was I doing? She’s like this way that parents kind of, like, come up with some kind of rationale, reason why you’re not actually gay despite all the evidence.

Joseph Segaran  20:25

Yeah, it’s funny that I had that too, though. much younger. I think when I think when I was much younger, so probably eight or nine at school, probably pritish. I don’t know whether they will called in I was just remark at one of the parent teacher, evenings for my. But a couple more than one occasion, it was noted that I had to broaden my friend group, because I only hung around. wasn’t good. That was a concern for teachers at those times. I look back, probably teacher’s way of saying, oh, by the way, thank you son’s gay.

K Anderson  21:04

Imagine though, I’ve got some feedback for you. Your kids friends are all the wrong gender?

Joseph Segaran  21:11

Well, I mean, I’m not working that did that happened. That happened a couple of times. A Junior School and actually high school by age 1415, then then I hung around, actually with a very small group of girls, just three or four girls, and we always used to sit in the same place. And one of the teachers took me aside them and actually took me into his office to tell me that he’d noticed that I just hung around with girls and not proud of it. change my attitude, change my lifestyle. Otherwise, it was just all going to be doing a little for me.

K Anderson  21:50

Oh, wow.

Joseph Segaran  21:52

And it teacher, Mr. Trump, his name? Mr. Spencer, Mr. Spencer?

K Anderson  21:59

And I’m like, how did you respond?

Joseph Segaran  22:03

Well, I never forgot it. Because I think he saw that before. I think I really had worked up this bit myself. And also also I think, every now and then some older boy at school would call me gay or not. And I didn’t really know what that meant. So there were a couple of times that people are telling you, you’re gay before you really know that, whether that’s true or what, just, which was kind of interesting, and also really disappointing at the same time. It’s,

K Anderson  22:41

yeah, it is weird. Like, I think when I yeah, when I realized I was gay. I’d had so many people tell me for so long that it was like, oh, oh, okay. They were right. But this, this whole thing that this teacher decided that they could maybe potentially prevent you from being gay by just making sure you hang out with boys. Like, it’s so naive. Yeah,

Joseph Segaran  23:07

I mean, I can’t remember. But I mean, looking back, I was probably just terrified to talk to boys. But so that would have only made things worse. That day, decided just to be friends with boys.

K Anderson  23:23

Boys just did like really boring things. So

Joseph Segaran  23:26

right. Yeah, I mean, in that age isn’t a choice. It just kind of just kind of happens. I have no idea.

K Anderson  23:34

But you were ready to play with boys by the time you got to the bay horse? Yes. bringing us back on. But and so did you learn consciously stay away from that ancestor? isness.

Joseph Segaran  23:50

I don’t, I don’t know. I don’t, I didn’t really fit direct instantly into that group, because most of them live together, or they lived outside of York. And some of them work together. So they were it was like a family. And, and I’ve seen that the bay house they had they had this front bed where they it’s funny because I can visually see it. Notice that I’m talking about as you walked in the front door, immediately to the left, there was a kind of a longer table. And that was almost known to be dead space. So if I went on my own, and I sat there, and no one was there, you’d know that within the next half an hour, someone from that group would arrive and then slowly the rest of the group would arrive. But they didn’t dance. So they didn’t dance was very much just top drinking beer and talking. It’s yaksha remember, it’s it’s not London.

K Anderson  24:42

It’s bad. Like what I mean, what’s the point going out if you don’t dance?

Joseph Segaran  24:48

Yeah, so well, they would that to meet people and, and it was a social thing, but I definitely went there the first time, hoping to score and meet people accidentally Made a network of really great fun people was unfortunate. I’m not in touch actually with anyone I don’t see. But no, I went, I went to dance even though the music was terrible. So, through doing that, I met other people. And so I think when I first went there, that was my little safety net. So because going and sitting at the bar, in a gay bar on your own, as a 17 year old is terrifying, because half the people are thinking, who’s this news person, half the people are thinking Hello, fresh meat. So that group was just really safe, because I could start my night with them. But I was pretty much a free spirit. So it didn’t mean I have to sit

K Anderson  25:44

there with them all the time. But there was they were like your safety blanket. Like you’ve labeled them as the incestuous group? Well, I mean, you know, it’s not like they’re the only ancestors group in the world. And the Did you say you mentioned before that you were the only kind of non white person there? Did you experience any racism or?

Joseph Segaran  26:09

Not? Not? Not at the bay house? No. Funnily enough, oh, funnily enough. That’s interesting. Well, actually, I think I think I think that is interesting. I think if I, if I think back to the bay house, and that sort of thing about the advantage of a kind of small town provincial style, gave by where there is no choice. So you can’t say, are the running of bears or everyone’s too old, or the music? Really, really, you just do if you wanted to go to a game, but that was your only choice and leads is, is it half an hour, 40 minutes on the train. There you had a propagate, I think maybe two big clubs. One with cheesy pop music. And one was actually quite good music and different club notes and bars and a proper, good, proper thriving scene. So I think people I think a lot of people went there. But if you didn’t want to or couldn’t leave York, then it was your only choice. It didn’t, but I don’t think, of course, it was pitching and especially within the industry as well. I don’t think it wasn’t, it wasn’t very judgy. And it wasn’t very, I think I think every gay bar I’ve ever been into since has been much more prejudice in all sorts, in all senses of the word, but I never experienced racism there. But I didn’t know the other venues in York, but not there. But then maybe kind of on the on the other side of the spectrum there was Oh, I’ve experienced is that you have this kind of you don’t realize it until it’s too late that some of that that people are still looking at you with some kind of exotic beauty from the east, something like that. And then just making it where you could possibly be from because you look a little bit like some Indian boy, a few years ago. Well, I think I think what I had there, but then it’s not exclusively to being picked up. That’s just something that we always really annoyed me is when people I used to always, when people said where are you from? I used to explain to them my entire family history before they even know my name. Now I just don’t I tell people that my dogs is from Sri Lanka. And then it got most people then they think, well, I’ve never been to Sri Lanka. But let me tell you this story about was one time I was in India, and he kind of can use about Indian culture or what they learned when they were a hippie student. And they went to India, and they discovered themselves and

K Anderson  28:51

that’s exhausting. So you don’t just go like, Oh, I’m from New York.

Joseph Segaran  28:55

Yes, yeah, I can’t. It’s it’s even more complex. Now that I live in Amsterdam, and people ask you when people ask away from but if you say I’m from the UK, or from New York, or in Amsterdam, even sometimes I just sit down from here. You get this look, which is which means but where are you really from?

K Anderson  29:17

And, and then do you comply with that? Or do you just

Joseph Segaran  29:21

nice to, you know, expand just to say, Oh, my dad is from Sri Lanka and my mom’s English. And that’s normally what they want to know. Now, I just kind of refuse to kind of say, Oh, I just say I’m from everyone.

K Anderson  29:38

I am a child of the world. Yeah, I had this. Like I had this reverse thing like when I went to Australia. So I was born in Scotland. I grew up in Australia. And whenever I would meet people, I would be like, you know, at pains to be like, oh, but actually I’m Scottish. I’m not Australian, and people would always be lying. Now Now your Australian mate. Yeah. And it’s like, No, no, but I’m not like, Nah, you look like us. Well, what does that mean?

Joseph Segaran  30:10

Well, you got the same the same thing because I think, I think when I first met you, like, you told me and then I forgot and, and then I would have to think, what was his? Was he Australian? Okay. Obviously British and he moved to Australia when he’s younger, because he has a slight x. And I could remember you did have to tell me times. People people don’t like, ever, like when you don’t fit instantly into a box that they know. That they can understand.

K Anderson  30:46

Yeah, yeah, I find it I find it fascinating that like, yeah, people are at pains to define you so quickly.

Joseph Segaran  30:56

Definitely. Yeah. And that’s that it’s always people are kind of almost disappointed when you’re all that. Or when you say srilankan. Because they can’t. Well, actually, then people a lot of the time people. When I say I’m harsh, Sri Lankan, they think, oh, that’s why you look like that’s what you look like how you look. But I think I look like my mom, who was white and British. If you see my my mom and dad, I look much more like my mom. And I don’t look like adults look like shrunken at all. So I think that’s also quite funny when people think oh, yes, no, no, I get I can see it.

K Anderson  31:36

Do you? Have you ever had someone that has then gone away and research things about Sri Lanka in order to have a conversation with you later on?

Joseph Segaran  31:45

That might have occurred? It’s funny, you said that because now I’m thinking Wait, maybe I have. Like, yeah, people have definitely searched for some information or,

K Anderson  32:03

or found something or in passing that they have to tell you like, like you’re interested.

Joseph Segaran  32:07

I’ve also had the complete opposite, where I’ve met someone who’s actually spent time in Sri Lanka and knows a lot about the current political climate at that point.

K Anderson  32:20

And you’re like, we’re

Joseph Segaran  32:21

left with locals and can cook the food and knows places and names and try to kind of Oh, have you been here? And he when he was 16?

K Anderson  32:36

Oh, it’s fascinating. I mean, you know, ultimately, it’s about them wanting to connect, isn’t it? But it’s a bit like, Oh, sorry. Yeah, people when people talk to me about Australian things that I have no idea. I’m just like, I’m really sorry. I failed. And so I wanted to. So in getting preparing for this interview, I’ve did some research and there was not very much about the bayhawks online. But there was an amazing article in the New York press with the headline, venue dilemma for York gays. That was about the police closing. Oh. Do you remember hearing about the place closing? Well, yes, it was in my time I experienced it. Oh, okay. Yes. It’s a shame. Ben, do you remember hearing like before it closed that it was going to close? Yes. Yes. And I it was a dilemma for your case. Sorry to make light of it.

Joseph Segaran  33:35

It’s a shame. I don’t know. And I don’t. I did. I think I tried to look and I couldn’t find I don’t know how long it had been there. But I think it’d been there have been a game pub for a long time. And I have no idea. I have no idea about the owners who they were. I can vaguely remember some of the bus stuff. But I wasn’t really thinking about those kinds of things. But it must have been a dilemma for them. I have no idea what their circumstances were. But when I when I first went there, I think it was I think it was 2002 and I’m pretty bad. I think it closed in 2003. So it was a very short window of time. But I remember when they when it was closing people saying oh, we should start the bar and I think there was a series of bars in New York became gay friendly after that, and none of them very successful. And I think even now there is no official cable so i think i think i’m pretty sure there was there is one place which is gay friendly, and maybe it is I think it’s more like a kind of gay friendly and it’s in a very much in the city center. So I think as a tourist you can just accidentally walk in there and not really notice. But no, I don’t think since 2003 there’s been a Anything that’s replaced it more for more than a couple of years. I remember I remember there was a place called the Artful Dodger, I think. So when I, as I was leaving out it was while I was leaving for university, I think I went to the lot the last night ever think there was a big party. I’m pretty sure I was there. And then, and then word on the town was, it wasn’t gay, but some gay people work there. So we should all go to this bar. And I remember. And that was the time I was leaving for university. So I left to go to Newcastle, when they had more than one gay bar. I remember that a kind of group went from the Bay horse to this other place. A common what it’s called, it was on Mikkel gates. That’s all I remember. But it was more It was a younger crowd and a trendier crowd and it was more university student orientated. So that melting pot with all the older people, and that disappeared. I don’t know where they go, or where they went

K Anderson  35:58

after. But yeah, it’s kind of weird, isn’t it? Like people talk about how, you know, there’s this whole dialogue about like, queer bars needed anymore, because people have hookup apps, and people have the internet and blah, blah, blah. But for this older generation that isn’t digitally, native or, or digitally active, like, what are they doing?

Joseph Segaran  36:22

Yeah, I mean, I’m talking about, Oh, my gosh, nearly 20 years ago, I suddenly feel old. Yeah, so the older generation that then they weren’t using chat rooms, or are any other ways for that kind of social aspects for the summer.

K Anderson  36:43

But even people who even people who were like 40, then, you know, like, would be in like, 60. Now, it could still be going out, like, what, like, there is no place to go.

Joseph Segaran  36:59

It’s, it’s actually really sad. And it’s, it’s weird, because then after that, going to Newcastle and living in Amsterdam, and being kind of spoiled with a different bar for your every needs. And if you don’t want ever want to see a bear or a twink, then you don’t, you can just go to the special designated bars, and then you know, bears bar. And then he was like, do a special head test on the way in. But then you can understand that people question the need for these kind of places, but it was almost accidentally, a kind of a social club as well as being a gay bar. I was fine. I kind of I find them. So whether whether you’re talking about something like Grindr, or scruff, a very old fashioned provincial town pub, or a gay club, or gaydar, MSN, all these different kind of ways of meeting people. On the one hand, it’s of course, it’s extremely handy when you’re looking for sex, and you want to help people and this kind of stuff. But, but they’re also I’ve always found them amazing and fascinating places for networking, kind of like, basically social media, but buffer cape people

K Anderson  38:21

like to get your hair done.

Joseph Segaran  38:24

Okay, well, no, no, but just just also just, um, I’ve met people because I’m thinking back to 2006. When I moved to Amsterdam, they didn’t know anyone. And just the ease of gaydar because I’ve used that before. It was kind of it meant that I didn’t then in Amsterdam have to do that terrifying thing of going, I would have found that just as terrifying as I did. When I was 17. Going into a bar in Amsterdam on my own, to meet someone, I’ll just kind of just to see if I could meet someone I didn’t do now. It was terrifying. So I chatted to different people. I was chatting to some people. And then I said, Well, do you want to meet for a drink, and you’d meet for a drink. So that’s just a small. There’s only three years later. But it was an incredible tool for taking away that edge of having to go to a physical place.

K Anderson  39:25

But there is still something like I mean, I probably can’t speak very much for the heterosexual experience. But there is something great about being like going to a queer bar on your own and not having that social stigma of being on your own.

Joseph Segaran  39:42

Yeah, definitely. That would think I can’t imagine it now. I mean, I mean, I can remember the fear used to house but also the excitement because you’ve done a lot of possibilities at night, but but I think for me, for me, it always made it easier but, but it’s definitely much more exciting to, to be in a bind, or you. First of all, you’re there for a drink or dance for a good time. And then anything else is extra? Well, that’s brilliant.

K Anderson  40:15

Yeah, cuz because of the downside of talking to someone online and then meeting them for a drink, is, if they’re boring, you’re lumbered with them for quite a good amount of time, unless you’re very good at saying, Do you know, this isn’t right for me? So yeah,

Joseph Segaran  40:30

I think I made perfect the art back in the day. I can’t remember, I can’t remember what the technique was. But I think I think thinking back to when I moved to Amsterdam, I think I think I may have met people. And maybe we just maybe I tried to keep it cool and ambiguous, kind of in the reason we meet, so that you could kind of meet for a drink. And, actually, that’s another thing. Um, so don’t spoil me. The word there was there were years in between there, the Baos days, and I’m stumped, because my university days, that was, that’s different kind of doing fine arts course, and how there are lots of drama students. There were different ways to meet people. And there was a cop propagating. But it was fine. But but but being in Amsterdam, that was my first experience with a living in a city that if you met someone for a drink in Mumbai, you could say, well, let’s call it a night. Go to dose down and on, you’re probably done that. Have you not?

K Anderson  41:40

Well, I mean, no, because I think like going back to what we were talking about before, I used to get so caught up in the romance or the, you know, the ability, my imagination had to fill in the blanks for people that I was talking to online, that I would put a lot of stock into them as a person. And, and like, you know, totally unrealistic expectations. I know, it’s totally on me. And then whenever I would meet them, I’d be like, Ah, you’re not that interesting. And then I would spend the whole night trying to, like, see another side of them, or to bring them out of their shell, or to like, connect in the way that I thought we connected when we were talking online. Which is why I stopped dating. Really? Yeah. You stopped dating is exhausting or dislike the idea of going on a day. It’s horrible.

Joseph Segaran  42:51

Oh, yeah, it is. And if only it would, it would happen more often. But if I think back to Days of being single, then if you think back to kind of like, Oh, isn’t it so romantic that you look up your phone and there happens to be somebody 600 meters away, and then you send them a tarp or a wolf or whatever you send them? I mean, it’s very unromantic. And eyes meeting across a bar or actually in the streets are kind of in that kind of excitement, because you don’t know, well, you might, there’s some kind of connection, but you don’t know where it’s going, or that that’s the best way to meet someone. Nothing can be that.

K Anderson  43:35

And the last time I was in Amsterdam, I was walking back from a club like late at night, and this guy cycled past me, and then stopped. And then we made out for like, five minutes. And then I was like, Oh, it’s really late. I have to go. And that was it. That was our encounter. It was

Joseph Segaran  43:55

simple encounters like that, actually. How have you done and it’s kind of weird, you you you don’t forget those I don’t think just because of the way it happened.

K Anderson  44:07

Oh, yeah, yeah, definitely stays in your mind.

Joseph Segaran  44:10

Similar Amsterdam one where I was actually also on a bike and late at night, and kind of we spent a little bit of our journey home overtaking each other and kind of try to look at and it was really weird because I was thinking it’s this guy flip bikes riding with me and he was and I thought he was so I thought I better see if I can overtake him. And at some point, we just slow down to the same speed and he said, Hi, how you doing? Something like

K Anderson  44:46

you fell over and break both your arms. No, then he came back.

Joseph Segaran  44:53

And I also remember a time in Newcastle sitting on the metro going home. from university after a long day, was a full Metro and just seeing a guy across, sitting on the other row of seats, and then kind of having a contacts, getting to my stop just to where I live. And he was also getting also kind of a weird is that guy is the following link? Are we looking at each other? And he was and we kind of had a little fumble under the bridge and then went our separate ways. So

K Anderson  45:29

yes, it’s so much more romantic, isn’t it?

Joseph Segaran  45:31

Yeah. So so the act part is, is really disappointing. But there’s something very exciting about in the moment, to meeting someone,

K Anderson  45:43

are you? Are you good at picking up on that? Because I have never been good. And I think maybe it’s like this fear of, like, homophobia or something being like subjected to someone being like, hang on, I’m not fighting with you, fuck you. But I’ve never ever been good at that.

Joseph Segaran  46:00

Yes, I think so. And I think another thing is, I am I’m pretty shy. And I think I think as I get older, I get less and less able to talk to anybody. I don’t know. I’m always, you know, when somebody comes to deliver something, or the plumber comes, I’m just absolutely petrified and have no idea what to say. But I think when I was younger, I didn’t, I didn’t I’ll just talk to anyone. But I normally I think I just by nature, I tend to always pay late watching people I like people watching. So I’m always looking at I think I’m more often, obviously looking at someone than they are obviously looking at me. And so it’s a case of I don’t have to the signals are pretty obvious if they’re looking back and not think with an expression of what is that guy looking at those signals pretty well. It’s funny, because you said you said about homophobic and we’ve got an of course that is a possibility that you think someone’s saying you’re up and you’re kind of flirting and then turns out that they’re actually thinking, is that guy gay? I’m going to beat him up so that could unmask. But when I met my now husband, we met

K Anderson  47:20

was that weird to say by the way? It is quite weird. I don’t say often, but I do. I do notice that I quite enjoy. Okay. All right. We’ll say it again when you met her.

Joseph Segaran  47:31

So anyway, when I met my husband, we met actually through an app, unfortunately, not romantically, yeah, across the ballroom floor. But we met up and he he said, Oh, come over, blah, blah, blah, this time. And this is where I live. And we arranged that I was going to come over. And it wasn’t my first time going to someone’s house for tape. We had for the first time ever in my whole life. This terrible, terrifying feeling. Maybe it was because when was this six years ago, maybe there’d been more talk of this in the media about people meeting on an app and then getting beaten up. I suddenly had this idea that when I got there, I thought the doors gonna open and there’s going to be a group of young thugs, and they’re going to pull me in and beat me to death. And I was absolutely terrified. And when it got to his house, there was a kind of porch and you have to go up some stairs and the light didn’t work. So it’s pitch black. And I’ll never forget that feeling was absolutely terrifying. And then the door opened. He was like, it

K Anderson  48:46

was love. But

Joseph Segaran  48:54

I’ve never heard that. Yeah, well, I was certainly thought much and that’s terrible. That happens. It’s kind of but it

K Anderson  49:01

didn’t stop there. Not to make light of that happening. Sorry.

Joseph Segaran  49:06

So they probably had I probably had in the back of my head kind of I’ll take a step back and if the door opens that special should run like the wind. So we’ve gone way off topic. When we went oh, I could I could have a quick look and see if I have that email. I think I know where it is. Okay. This is the advantage of my years in a bookshop. I file everything exactly where I wanted to be so I can find it at the drop of a hat.

K Anderson  49:55

That’s a handy

Joseph Segaran  50:00

I think outside of this, I think one day, I’ll just have to take some photographs of some of my old diaries. Because I know you like the raunchy and the exciting stories, and I do have some. Now we’re going to share them here. But now I just got this book and I’m just kind of thinking. So kind of half day we have sketchbook from my school days. And I remember using the back of printer email that this guy sent me to draw a picture on the other hand, it’s him explaining to me that when you fancy someone, it doesn’t mean it’s love.

K Anderson  50:50

And was this before or after you mad? After so this is this? This is the guy that threw this him letting you down? Yeah.

Joseph Segaran  51:04

I think I found one. Yeah. Just trying to work out harder would have been to COVID-19. up it says, often there’s a big stain of a half of its economy that says, Okay, well, I tried, I can at least say that much. It’s a pity that I didn’t succeed. But you can’t have everything in life, can you? If you can honestly say that you could sleep with me and then move on. And I would happily admit that I got it wrong. Do you form emotional attachments? That I don’t I understand the difference between love and sex? Can you honestly say the same thing, I would doubt it in all sincerity. The reason that I never slept was that I knew you would form an attachment to me. As much as we joked about it. I am a tart and I were the label. The relationship that ended on Saturday ended because the other guy has severe emotional problems. That was the last time I opened myself to being hurt. And the fact that I love that guy has nothing to do with you. I just couldn’t deal with the problems I am having. Do I? Do I blame him for it? No, I don’t. I just wish he talked about it to me before he made his decision. I’m going to just go a little forward. I’m done. Now. If you want to scream at me, that’s fine. If you don’t want to know me, that’s fine. Also, if however, you think that you may still have some spark of friendship for me, but don’t want to say anything because your pride is getting in the way that I don’t want to know you. And then he ends with Joe I value our friendship. And I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t know how old he was. I’m gonna think about 30

K Anderson  52:58

when he wrote this, Oh, my God. Oh, no, I was gonna say like, if he was 18, I could forgive. But so enter the context here is that you had met once he’d say he’d snob someone else.

Joseph Segaran  53:10

Yeah. The context is that we chatted for months, probably just week, or maybe just things. Now we’ve

K Anderson  53:19

been in enough for you to form complex bonds

Joseph Segaran  53:23

that we that we chatted, and that I totally fancied him and I had seen pictures of him, even though it was in the MSN days. And we met for what a thought was a date, went to the bay horse, introduced him to my friend group, and then never saw him all night because he went off with my best friend from that group. heartbreak. So I mean, I caught folks, I don’t have the text message, but I probably sent him text messages telling him how I thought I was so hurt. I can’t remember I can’t remember that hurt from back then.

K Anderson  54:07

Just not being able to sleep. Thinking over in your head, and and so this was him, like what letting you down gently or

Joseph Segaran  54:19

kind of excellent. I mean, basically, I was kind of thinking, like, I thought we will meet and I’m gonna have a nice night out and then we’re gonna go back to yours. And I thought that was a thing and he’s kind of that’s him kind of trying to explain why he has sex with my friend because my friend understands casual sex better than I am not. I’m quite. I’m quite lucky that that’s kind of probably the messiest love triangle or breakup type thing I’ve ever gotten myself into. My other breakups have been pretty painless. I can’t complain.

K Anderson  54:54

Oh, yeah. Oh, that’s nothing then. Oh, yeah. That’s right. You’re lucky. Yeah. Okay. Did you ever go to the bay horse? Well, if you did tell me about it. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook with the user name K. Anderson music. Hit me up and tell me your stories. Bonus points for anyone who can share embarrassing photos because I always loved those last basis is not only a podcast, but a concept record as well. I’ve been writing songs about queer venues and the people who used to live there live there, and we’ll be releasing songs over the coming 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 subscribed left to review on Apple podcasts or just told someone or some multiple people who you think might be interested in having a little listen to. I am K Anderson and you have been listening to lost spaces.







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