Mark Bittlestone is a stand-up comedian. He is also very gay man. Just a very gay man, doing a lot of straight-up gay stuff.
He’s on social media too! Follow Mark on Instagram here
That’s right, things are opening back up again and I’m not just talking about my legs wheeeey. No, but seriously, I mean the BARS AND PUBS – YOU CAN SIT IN THEM NOW AND EVERYTHING! Now, this is a gay column about GAY things. I know straight people go “for drinks” but let’s face it: not like we do. So this column is for you if you’re queer and you like a beer 🤣. If you’re LGBT and you like a (Irish) tea. Cocktails and you like… cock. That last one didn’t really rhyme, did it?
1) Go to a gay bar.
It’s nice to be among your people. Here you can scream, be a Queen, and cause a scene. I’ll be honest I didn’t come out until I was 21 and my friends were almost entirely straight so it’s actually only in the last few years that I’ve really learned to embrace the joy of a gay bar. I dragged a straight friend to a gay bar once but the door guy said he “didn’t look gay” so refused him entry. Sorry mate, there’s a taste of your own medicine.
2) Go to a “normal bar”.
Because I’m gay, I don’t have to work hard for it to be ironic when I partake in lad culture: it necessarily is. So I’m not going to lie, I do enjoy going to the pub every now and then and downing pints with my straight friends, then waking up the next day, putting my makeup on and going to a Eurovision party as Agnetha from ABBA. Which is actually what I’m doing this Saturday. Follow me @poofsrus for pics.
3) Go with friends.
One of the things I think we’ve all missed from the last year is the sheer joy of having drinks with friends in a bar. It’s just so….warming. One of my favourite games is chatting to someone I’ve only just met but pretending I’ve known them my entire life. It’s really disarming (for them), enjoyable (for me) and weird (for onlookers who don’t know the context).
4) Go on your own.
There was a period in my final year at university when I was meant to be writing my dissertation and revising for my exams but in order to escape this I would go to pubs on my own and quietly drink a half pint while reading the paper. It was meditative and peaceful in the short term, though incredibly stressful in the medium to long-term as the pile of work I had to do became a screaming hag in my ear.
5) Be teetotal.
You don’t have to drink! I have tried, with mixed results, to develop a better relationship with booze over the last 18 months. The thing I realised is that almost all of my relationships revolve around drinking: family, friends, (imaginary) boyfriend. So I did dry Jan last year and also Stoptober and it was actually great. I drank lime and sodas like the little gay boy I am and left at 9pm. Try it.
Follow Mark on Instagram, here’s some of his videos as a sneak peak: