This pandemic has taught me a lot…but I won’t bore you with all that. However, one of the things it has taught me, which I want to share with you now, is how amazing our community actually is. I always knew you guys were special human beings, but it took a pandemic to realise that our community really is a community that cares.
Since we closed in March last year, we have faced hardships, stress and deep concern for the future of the club and indeed, our own future. Never in my adult life have I been so at a loss as to where my path will lead and not have a plan of action. By my very nature, I like to be in control of everything around me or at least have several options in front of me to choose from!
For the first time ever, I’ve had to wing it. I’ve had to let go of the reins and allow my journey to be led by fate. You may argue that fate always has our future mapped out for us, but I like to think that I have some power over my destiny! lol Letting go was hard and stepping back from being at the helm of Townhouse so very suddenly was like having my life force ripped from me. One day, I was welcoming a capacity crowd into our very popular venue, with refurb plans, new event plans and looking forward to the ‘Roaring Twenties’. Overnight, the club was as quiet as a graveyard, with no customers to bring it to life and it literally had no soul. I was faced with a life with no real purpose.
Over the weeks and months that followed, I truly realised how the outside world views the adult industry. We just weren’t important and not worth saving. Getting turned down for grants and funding, fighting for any money we did get and a ‘fuck off’ from our insurers, sent the message that our industry would be bottom of the pile for any kind of assistance, we would be the very last industry to open and what did we expect? We are outsiders. We are freaks. We should be quiet and thankful that we are allowed to exist in our world at all…pah! I took to social media, explaining the impossible position the industry was in and some of the nasty messages that followed from nilla’s…complete strangers, were beyond abhorrent. I felt sick. What were we going to do? How would we even get to Christmas? There have been times when I felt helpless and so desperately sad for our amazing venue. Sad for the missed opportunities. Sad for the people who rely on our little corner of the kinkdom. I wondered what would happen to our Tgirls who couldn’t be themselves outside of Townhouse and how this would affect their mental health. I wondered about the whole LGBT community who attended Townhouse and relied on us as a safe haven. I wondered about all of our members who struggle each and every day with their mental health, who used Townhouse as their outlet; for some, their weekly visit to Townhouse was their only contact with the outside world! The pressure to keep the club afloat suddenly felt like a massive burden and the responsibility weighed heavy on my shoulders.
It came to the point where we would have to do some fundraising and start selling items from the club to pay the club outgoings. I’ve never asked for money in my life, but without the assistance from government, the club was going to sink. So the fundraising started and selling of ‘stuff’ commenced!!!
What I have realised is that our community is generous beyond belief and I don’t just mean in monetary terms. The offer of practical help, carpentry, building, cleaning, accounting….The offer of pre paid private hires to help out the bank balance. The time people have taken out of their own stressful lives to just check in with us and see how the Townhouse family are holding up.
Really, the support you have shown us has been outstanding. Whether you donated £5 or £50 or more, every single penny counts and it all goes into the Townhouse fund. People have even apologised as they can’t afford more than a fiver!!!! This was so humbling…someone offered to give me their last fiver! I mean, come on!! I admit to shedding a little tear.
Those who have taken the time to message us, I thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart. To know that our fight is appreciated means so much. Everyone is facing their own struggles right now, so to think of us, despite your own demons, is amazing. The Covid wilderness can be a very lonely place, so that contact has been wonderful.
It looks like we may not be open as ‘normal’ for most of this year. I’m not sure how we are going to get through the year; like I said earlier, we are literally winging it from one month to the next. But we will fight so hard for you. We know how much Townhouse means to you all and we won’t give up without expending every option open to us…although options are very few!
So, thank you to each and every person who has stood by us, who has donated, given their time, given their emotional support or has kept us in their thoughts. I bloody love our community and I would not be exaggerating if I said that you have played a part in keeping me sane and focussed. You have been generous beyond belief and it will not be forgotten.
Vicky (and Jim)