Letter: Out, but not about, in Shrewsbury

Letter: It is not always an easy life for a gay person to have a social life in Shrewsbury as I have found out for myself (to my cost).

Letter: It is not always an easy life for a gay person to have a social life in Shrewsbury as I have found out for myself (to my cost).

I am not "camp" and go around telling people I am gay. I live in a small town in Shropshire and there is no way I would go out in the evening to any of the pubs for fear of being verbally abused/attacked.

I cannot change the way I am, i.e. my sexuality. There are people who have a homophobic attitude which runs through them like words through a stick of rock.

If I had the money I would move to Holland which has a more liberal attitude towards people who are "different".

Name and address supplied

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Comments for: "Letter: Out, but not about, in Shrewsbury"


Well, I'm sorry you feel that way, but I'm sure there are plenty of gay people around and I'm sure there are plenty of non-homophobic people around too (probably more of the latter than those who are) in Shropshire - People are people wherever you go, there's good and bad, it's not where you're from it's where your at...yada yada. You can be as camp as you like for all I care, I for one find it no more offensive to display your sexuality whatever it may be as to show your allegiance to a football club by wearing the team shirt - neither have any interest to me whatsoever and I find people who do either have a tendency to be a tad one-dimensional. I'm also sure you don't have to move as far as Holland to find somewhere you'll feel comfortable, you could try a bigger city or perhaps a mental shift in perspective and liking & accepting yourself and others more might be even cheaper still (No offence, I don't know you - I'm just reading between the lines, possibly incorrectly).

Billy's on a break

I think the working of your letter and the "is Shropshire homophobic?" tag line (supplied by the Shropshire Star) is quite misleading in this article.

Its my opinion (admittedly formed only on what you've written) that YOU yourself have an issue of fear that is stopping you from going out. Give your local pubs a chance, they won't all be filled with gay-bashing biker gangs.

Be proud of who you are and stand up for yourself.

Billy's on a break

that should have been "wording" not "working of your letter"

curse my sausage fingers

shropshire biker

Oh lets demonize bikers instead eh ?

Billy's on a break

well, let's be honest, according to popular culture (some) bikers do like to have their "hard man macho" image and have been known to pick on the gay community. See "Death before Disco" as an example.

It's kind of ironic really when you consider the average Biker's love for leather trousers and metal studs.



Isnt there an old saying something about homophobes being repressed??

Certainly would fit in with the leather trousers thang! :)


Its a shame that you're finding life hard - we live in Ludlow - are very open about our lives and have a nice life. There is a very cosmopolitan night life in Ludlow - though it isn't the most exciting town in Shropshire - The first thing you have to achieve is thinking you are 'different'. You're not - you're just the same as every one else.... if you believe that then you start to see every one else on the same level as yourself. Its not about changing who you are - its about how you (and therefore others) see yourself. Good luck -

Rodney Nosnail

I'm sorry, I don't understand your letter.

If you're not "camp" and don't go around telling people you're gay, then how would a homophobe know that you're someone that they would want to verbally abuse and attack?

Are you sure that your fear is not self-induced? When anyone walks into a pub that I happen to be in, the first thing that enters my head is NOT "are they gay?". I usually just ignore anyone I don't know and carry on drinking unless they approach me.

The vast majority of people are not homophobes and are not concerned with your sexuality. I suspect that if you spent less time thinking about how you're liable to be attacked due to your (hidden) sexuality and more time just buying and enjoying a drink or a meal, you may be pleasantly surprised at how no-one decides to have a go at you.

If you're still not able to do that, get a few of your mates together and head for the Three Furnaces in Madeley. One of the best gay pubs in the land! Home of the Telford Pride. I'm not gay, but I pop in occasionally because the entertainment is great, the meals good and the drink goes down well. And they certainly don't beat me up or verbally abuse me for being straight.


I'm saddened by your attitude towards Shropshire. I'm out in Telford and haven't had any trouble. I moved here from Birmingham last year and have been welcomed into the community I live in and have always found the local LGBT community to be just as welcoming.

It cheers my heart to see that Telford has celebrated it's second Pride event (and long may it continue!).

Rob Belton

No.... i'm the only gay in the village!

Jo James

If you feel so badly about where you live, why don't you just move. You control your own destiny. It might make you happier in the long run.

Scooby Doo

I think the letter writer might have a bit of the 'Daffyd Thomas complex'.

I reckon groups like Bikers and rockers face more discrimination than gays do. I've actually been refused entry to pubs in Shrewsbury before now, just because I was wearing leather biker jacket.


Well i am so surprised that you think Shropshire is a homephobic place. Shrewsbury is full of diverse people and is very cosmapolitan. We have a gay night club that is so fantastic that people from all sexual preferaces go there, and there certainly isnt any problem with men and men being together women and women and men and women. Everyone gets on realy well. I think its your worst fear thats blighting you.


There are parts of Holland so straight-laced they make Shropshire look positively cosmopolitan! It's not all like Amsterdam...


Have it ever crossed your mind that nobody cares that you are gay? I've met a few gay folks in the past who seem to try to shock people with the gay thing and seem quite put out when you don't bat an eyelid.



What a load of self pity may I suggest if you feel people are like this in Shrewsbury you move to Holland, CRIME FIGURES PLEASE FOR ATTACKS ON GAY PEOPLE IN SHREWSBURY OR SHROPSHIRE FOR THAT MATTER??. Pretty low is it not??. I think decent people could not care a less what you do in private as I am sure you do not care what others do in private.I would also point out CORRECT if you say people would be offended at two gay people cavorting in public why should they not be offended ?. So my advice to GAY and proud letter writer with name and address supplied stop moaning .


You don't have to be gay to have no social life in Shrewsbury, theres' sod all to do for straight people either.


Just had to say I totally agree its either c21 or reflex hardly a choice is it!


I'm gay an live in Shrewsbury, i'm too not camp an dont shout about my sexuality but am not ashamed of it an will openly discuss it with anybody, i've not experienced any prejudice or homophobia & regularly go out round the pubs/clubs most weekends! some are inquisitive but in general I think dont think anyone really cares. As mentioned in previous posts if your unhappy maybe you'd fit in & be more suited to living in a city (ie. b'ham/manc) where there is more of a ''scene''.


Towns will always have people with "small town mentality" and anyone who doesn't agree either hasn't left the town or are kidding themselves.

It was only upon moving back here from London did it really hit home. And I only realised how ignorant I was once I explored the big world out there!

Scooby Doo

Sounds like you have a prejudice against Shrewsbury people.


You have experienced things many of us never will, I look upon you as a God amongst mere mortals, your mind has been opened and cleansed whereas mine is closed and grubby....for you have been as far as London and back.

Andrew Owen

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin can but look on in wonder...


Good grief what a load of nonsense. I've been 'out' in Shrewsbury for the past four years and in that time I've never experienced any verbal or physical abuse. I'm not camp but I have many camp friends and to my knowledge they don't experience any problems either. Shrewsbury is a very welcoming town for gay people. I would recommend the author go to C21 on a Monday night and see how little people care about your sexuality in our town.


Being of the older generation I find all gays behaviour rather odd. When they would like sex with another man rather than a woman then I think something is not right. In our day it was kept under the carpet and out of site,where it should be, now days it's taught in schools to young children who until told knew nothing about homosexuality, we are poising their minds at such a early age.As you can gather I'm not the gay in the village.



Please don't use your age as an excuse for finding homosexuality unacceptable. I know plenty of the older generation who have no issues with gay men or women. This isn't a generation thing, this is about accepting that not everyone fits into that nice little box we percieve as, "normal." It's called broadening my mind.

Many things in this world are, "not right." It wasn't right that my great uncle effectively lived a lonely life because he was unable to publically declare his sexuality. Thanks to peoples predujuces (and the law) in the 1930's, he was berifit of the comfort of a partner.


Homophobes are ok as long as they keep all that hatey stuff in their bedrooms where it can't hurt anyone and don't get all preachy and try and convert anyone else to their twisted ways.


come on lets be realistic here, shrewsbury is getting abit anti gay and i can see why, people don't want it here, they should keep it private and away from the public.


Let's be also realistic Phil. People have no excuse for homophobia. I am straight, but dislike close minded people such as yourself.

What is this obsession we seem to have with what people do in their bedrooms? Surely what two consenting adults do is entirely their buisness. Holding hands in public isn't unacceptable, is it?


Well said Kate! I could have not said it better myself. There is no excuse for homophobia, racism, etc in life. We all have to live on the same earth. People are to quick to discriminate on colour, sexuality, foreign nationality etc.

WHO CARE'S where your from, what you do or who you do!!!


I am an openly gay female who moved to Shrewsbury a couple of years ago. My partner and I have an active social life in Shrewsbury which we thoroughly enjoy. It is unfortunate however that on several occassions we have had to suffer homophobic abuse from members of the community. Young females have driven past us and felt the need to stop their car wind the window down just so that they can shout homophobic abuse at us and then drive off laughing. Groups of grown men have approached us and tried to physically fight us purely because of our sexuality.

I find it sad that such a lovely town, with an otherwise friendly community, has people like those I have had dealings with in it.

In my opinion it should be the individuals that feel it is okay to verbally and sometimes physically abuse others that should be keeping themselves away from the public, phil, and not those who just try to lead a happy life with the one they love.


An openly gay female called anonymous...sorry, its made me laugh good and proper

The Demon Preacher

Read your Bible please. Homosexuaity is WRONG.

Having a laugh

I did, and found no proof of a god its a fairy story book, i mean it rained for 40 days/nights and there was an ark that held 2 of each animals, just how big was this ark>?


You ever tried getting two of each animal on the ark. Seriously!! and what about the fish??

Beth Edwards

I don't think the fish were too worried about the flood ;)


Wouldn't the foxes have eaten all the chickens?

Cant believe a two hundred year old bloke could have stopped them eating each other... And back on topic, what about the gay animals??? Where they excluded? Was Noah a homophobe?


also says jesus is in everyone one of us. So that makes him "BI"


Obvious troll is obvious.

John Smith

@ Phil..."come on lets be realistic here, shrewsbury is getting abit anti gay and i can see why, people don’t want it here, they should keep it private and away from the public."

Why? If heterosexuals can cram each other's hands down their respective partner's trousers...or their tongues down their throats whilst shopping in Tescos and we have to put up with it, then why should gays have to 'hide themselves away?'

@ The Demon Preacher..."Read your Bible please. Homosexuaity is WRONG"

Nice story book, shame they had to get more than one person write it. Wake up, they world is full of gays, all brought into this world by their parents (presumably heterosexuals) and all without being asked if they wanted to exist. If there were only one or two, I'd believe the suggestion that perhaps gays were not meant to be, however...start counting mate, I'll see you in 10 years and I bet you won't have counted them all! Don't be such a hypocrite.

As for Shropshire being Anti Gay - what utter rubbish!


Well said John. Shrewsbury is not anti gay. I have known many gay people over the years who live, drink in, and enjoy the town with no homophobia being directed towards them. Sadly there are a few people - probably intolerant and bullying in other areas of their lives - who will mock and abuse, but they are very much in the minority.

An earlier post mentioned that homosexuality is taught in schools...it is not, certainly not in a "how to do" manner. Children are merely made aware of sex, sexuality and homosexuality. The rate of STDs and unwanted pregnancies in this country is phenomenal precisely because children are not educated, and due to the ignorance of the "it's a sin, brush it under the carpet, and keep it behind closed doors" brigade.


So "teaching homosexuality" is a government initiative to reduce teen pregnancies?

Now THAT is funny! :)


Teaching sexuality is the issue. The British traditionally avoid the subject at home and so have always relied on schools to deliver the information. Sex education in this country has been woefully inadequate for years but at least now PHSE classes touch on all areas of sexuality. What they don't do is teach children how to be homosexual rather they ensure that children realise homosexuality is normal for some in our society.


I moved to Shrewsbury over 15 years ago and I have watched it has developed into a pretty diverse place. When i moved here it was very unusual to meet someone who wasn't white! Considering it's size it is now very multi-racial and to be honest to the majority of people your colour, size or sexual orientation does not matter. But of course people may sometimes get abuse for whatever reason, you might get someone walk past and call you derogative names, but thats the individual not the town. I love Shrewsbury and I have an 18 month old boy. Me and his dad will teach him that it doesnt matter what you look like, what religion you follow or what sexual preference you have because we are all a creation of our surroundings. If my son is gay when he is older we will be just as pround of him it should make no difference. Shrewsbury is changing all the time, and I am grateful of that but you can not expect every person to change their views that they have probably spent their whole lives believing!


Erm, no. Shrewsbury is anything but a diverse place.

In my twenty years here, I've met exactly two black people, one oriental person, and the only middle eastern/Indian people I see work in restaurants and take aways.

I'm 100% certain that a gay person would never set foot in the former Liquid, for violence would undoubtably ensue. Now that place may be closed but there are many others around where it would still be unwise to go in. In fact, there is precisely one place in town where a gay man could be sure that the clientele would be accepting if he kissed his boyfriend in public view, and not have to worry about chavs waiting to beat him up outside.

It's all very well talking about Shrewsbury being diverse and accepting etc., but it's all complete nonsense.

By the way, I'm a mixed race gay man, so I've experienced all kinds of abuse in my time.


I moved 10 years ago to aberdeen. I enjoy it here however I do miss the company of my friends. Yes Shrewsbury is small and yes it is old fashioned, however some other places are still like that. I first lived in Peterhead. A small fishing village in aberdeenshire. I thought this would be very homophobic! How wrong could I have been. People in Shrewsbury are not narrow or shallow minded. It has a small gay comunitee but sometimes that is a good thing. Means you can meet people easily and most of the people. Shrewsbury was the place I came out and I found that my friends were very supportive. Yet terrorfied of going to the what is now C21. Everyone was so supportive and friendly. So I am sorry to have to disagree with you but I find much the same in most places, even the highly populated ones.

Scooby Doo

On the whole, Shrewsbury like much of the rest of Britain is a fairly easy going place with a 'live and let live' attitude.

Those who don't believe me should see how gay people are treated in Islamic countries, the vast majority of the African continent or the West Indies.

What consenting adults get up to behind closed doors is their own business and most folk accept that.

But let's be honest, there are certain types of 'militant' homosexuals who feel they have to keep pushing their 'cause' and by doing so, make life harder for many gay people who (like many straight people) simply choose to keep their sex life and day-to-day life seperate.

While I beleive homosexuality should be tolerated, I don't the think it's right to 'celebrate' it or promote it - especially in the classroom.


I believe football fandom should be tolerated. It has it's place and that's the football stadium, but not any other public place. I'm sick of these militant football fans, wearing their football shirts, constantly talking about football, basically shoving the fact they love football down my throat. Now in my day when I had football fan leanings (I was young & just experimenting) I kept it in the closet and never told anyone...mind you I was a (insert embarrassing club name here) supporter.


I think the only person who has a problem with their sexuality is the writer. Most people couldnt care less who you are and what you do. Also you shouldnt expect everybody to love the fact your gay, that day and age will never happen.

By the way why are my comments never shown?


i agree with Lee

shrewsbury is anti gay, it's wrong and should be banned from the town.


Sadly it is true, recently I was in london and there are gay men walking around hand in hand and no one bats an eye. This is how it should be! Gay people are on their guard in Shrewsbury.

eva land

Frankly Shrewsbury is more Grey than Gay or multicultural,and Grey with rose tinted spectacles who want to live in the marvelous past.


Do you think that what you say was a good thing?

You seem to forget that the genius enigma code breaker was a homosexual and committed suicide when he was arrested and sentenced to chemical treatment for his so-called deviancy in the 1950s.

Was that a good thing? The man who one could safely say won the war for us and should have been treated as a hero.

In 2009 Gordon Brown issued a posthumous apology to Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing for the 'appalling' way he was punished for being gay.

The Prime Minister said he was 'deeply sorry' for the inhumane treatment of the Cambridge mathematician - 53 years after his death.

Thirty thousand people had signed a petition seeking an apology for Mr Turing, who was credited by Winston Churchill with making the biggest single contribution to the Allied victory in World War II.


need to rebuild the Gay Meadow.


For one thing, I don't think anyone should attempt to speak for the entire town of Shrewsbury claiming that we all share your narrow little views. I can't say out of all of the many people I know in the town I know any homophobes (well, maybe one or two. I've let them know my thoughts on the matter) - the majority are kind and friendly residents who actually have some degree of common sense and open-mindedness, and couldn't give a toss about peoples' sexual orientation. Homosexuality has been around as long as heterosexuality, there is evidence of it in the animal kingdom too - it IS natural. Millions of people and a good chunk of the animal kingdom can't be an anomaly. As for saying that this is wrong because 'it's in the bible'? Pfft, don't get me started on that. By that logic we should be endorsing incest and killing witches too - we can't live by 2000 year old rules.

As for the writer, I think you are showing prejudice as well by not giving the people of Shrewsbury a chance - it's ridiculous to think that you should have to move to Holland when plenty of gay people are living happy normal lives here. It's also ridiculous to think beging gay makes you 'different'. Go out and see for yourself.


Eva. YEPEEEEEE, Now I know that a homosexual singly won the war for us,please read the book [The Bletchley Park Story]and go and have a day out there you will find the book and your visit will increase your knowledge of the subject, As your knowledge never ceases to amaze me.I find homosexuality Disgusting, when I see these people together I think what a waste of a body and a life. In reading the other comments, I say this to the people who agree with this alien behaviour. IF YOUR MOTHER OR FATHER HAD HAVE BEEN HOMOSEXUAL YOU WOULD NOT BE HERE ON THIS EARTH. Just a simple fact.


The above is the sought of people who i reffered to in my original post who I'm afraid will never accept who you are, but these are few and very far between.


It's a small town, there's not much to do for anyone & there's a shed load of drinking going on at the weekends. The town centre often seems to be an aggressive place on a Fri/Sat night and there seems to be an acceptance of a level of violence - some of it random male stuff and some of it violence against women. Violence is unacceptable and verbal abuse is intimidating. Rather than move, can't we press for better policing (by 'us' and the police), no more crap Lap Dancing and exploitative clubs which create an atmosphere of abuse, and a few more interesting things going on so we don't have get so off our faces to bear the tedium ? There shouldn't be any 'no go' areas for any of us.

edwin turner

try blackpool they take allsorts

eva land

Now you do know John Jones and you don't like it. What a sad person you are.

Bigotry and cruel senseless ignorance backed by despicable religious dogma made another human being feel his life was not worth living.

[In our day it was kept under the carpet and out of site,where it should be, now days it’s taught in schools to young children who until told knew nothing about homosexuality, we are poising their minds at such a early age]

What nonsense. The only poisoned minds are those in denial that perfectly normal people can be homosexual. This is what children are taught, today, to be comfortable with who they are.

As the writer has expressed, other people being comfortable with who you are can be a different matter and perhaps more so in a place where the population are older and have been indoctrinated with alien and ignorant attitudes in the past.

Those views however can sometimes be because they themselves are uncomfortable with their own feminine side!


Simon, They have not always taught sex in schools,it only started in the 60's,and look where it has got us, No. 1 in Europe for teenage pregnancies, I've now nearly reached my 3 score years and ten and nobody taught me, my experience came naturally,like the animals, and nobody teaches them.

Eva. Where does my despicable religious Dogma come in. I only go to church for weddings and funerals. With reference to teaching. had Mr Clegg of the Liberal Democratic Party won power in the last Election they were going to make it compulsory that homosexuals be allowed to go into schools and talk about their life styles.""" Ref. Their Election Manifesto. 2010""". How can homosexuality be normal behaviour when they can't reproduce, they seem to rely on us normal people to do that part for them.


"Normal people" oh give me a break, I'm not gay and i have no intention or reproducing does that make me not normal anyone who can not reproduce are they also not normal???? Gay or straight we are human beings!!

So please define "normal" for us un normal people?

My parents gave me a fansatic gift the gift of an open mind and to accept people for who they are and how they feel not for how others think they should be.


I would avoid using the word 'normal' since everyone seems to have different definitions... I think the only thing that you could truly call normal is for us to live like the animals, as we did when we first appeared on the earth - after all, that would be 'natural' (and you seem to like the way they learn their sex education)! And guess what - some of us would still be homosexual. Technology, cars, the internet - these are all things that are unnatural, not homosexuality; but I don't hear anyone complaining about them (well, except for the Amish)... We have welcomed all of these other developments, and I find it bizarre that there are still people who can't accept something that's been around as long as we have. By your logic, you could argue that people with mental illness and disabilities from birth should be kept out of sight too - these are things that people are born with and cannot help ('not that I am attempting to liken homosexuality to a disability!), but are not 'normal', so what's the difference?

As for the reproduction argument - pathetic. If my parents had been homosexuals then no, I wouldn't have born, haha - so I wouldn't be around to get upset about it would I?? Big deal. Not all of us want to be baby-popping machines anyway! I have no desire whatsoever to have kids and I know plenty of others who feel the same. If every single person reproduced the world would be horribly overpopulated - even more so than it is. It is likely that the phenomenon of homosexuality occurred in the first place as nature's way of keeping the population under control. Anyway I don't actually know any gay people with kids apart from one couple, so I don't think it's fair to say that they want 'normal' people to 'do it for them' - however there are many unwanted children and I would be just as happy for them to go to a gay couple as a straight one as long as they brought them up in a loving environment. There's plenty of kids being brought up by ignorant, irresponsible or violent parents who are straight, I wouldn't say that was the better option!

As for Britain being no.1 for teenage pregnancies - this is a deap-seated problem in our culture and cannot be attributed solely to sex education as other countries in Europe teach it in schools too and don't experience the same problem. To say that it shouldnt be taught in schools is preposterous, talk about going backwards - we'd see a return to the good old days of back-street abortions and syphilis in no time... actually if more teenagers were gay, that teen pregnancy statistic would drop in no time - so it can't be all bad eh? :)



Homosexuality also occurs within the animal kingdom. To suggest that sex is only for reproductive purposes is a nonsense as I'm sure you know. It is also for pleasure and it is that pleasure that helps people and species bond as couples or social groups. Homosexuality, like hetrosexuality, is not only about sex. It is also about relationships. When we demonise any group as being unacceptable because of who they are or how they think when they harm no one I find that shocking. As for homosexuals being invited into schools to talk about their lifestyles I did not notice that in any party manifesto and I bought all of the main three's tomes. But if it is in the Lib Dems I say "so what". I too was educated in the 60s. We had a man in a dress come to our school to tell us myths, fairy stories and legends...he was the local vicar! He also told us about tolerance and love for our fellow man, and that I have always thought was good.

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