Introduction & How did you use Outhouse when it was open
I’ve used Outhouse in many ways since coming out in 1999., when it was in South William St.
Mainly from the start I found the Friday Night Men’s night was the centre of my new social life.
I was lucky enough to work on reception for nearly ten years and met many interesting people, both centre-users and staff.
I also chaired a small self-help/ mental awareness group, called Iris, for about 4 years. The sub-committee of the group were known by the name, ‘Away with the Fairies.’
I co-facilitated two programs called ‘Ageing With Confidence,’ under the aegis of Age and Opportunity.
On the art front I have held a number of exhibitions of my paintings and arranged two exhibitions by Cabra artists.
On the 10th anniversary of my coming out I held a 10th birthday party in the Red Room and another party for my 70th birthday.
I was instrumental in setting up Gold for the over-50s where we meet in the café every Wednesday. Jimmy Malone and myself have held a non-alcoholic party for Pride.
These are most of the ways I have used Outhouse.
How are you connecting during Lockdown?
I am in touch by Whattsap and phone with family, friends and neighbours several times a day. The Cabra Development Project keep in touch and drop in food from time to time. I am lucky to have my friend, Carlo Torres, living with me. He does all the shopping and every night when others walk their dogs he walks me.
How is your time occupied during lockdown?
The time is flying. I just finished a novel I was writing and have painted about eight pictures. Also the garden gives me exercise.
What do you miss about Outhouse?
I miss everybody, all my friends, the friendly staff and you, Leanne.
Final message to people
Keep busy and active. Beware of too much telly and all the bad news. Do things, for example, memorise the words of all the songs you lalala along to. Laugh at least ten times a day. Make a routine of sorts. Avoid all those depressing conspiracy theories. Discover the nicer things in your personality and fall more deeply in love with yourself. You can try to booze the boredom away but it won’t work. Reach out to your friends and don’t depress them when you contact them - cheer them up instead.