I used to think I was straight then I met H and had all the lustful feelings for their beautiful non-binary loveliness. I mean. They’re HOT. How could I not? But yeah, very soon after realising how much I fancied H, I realised I definitely wasn’t straight.
And once I realised that I’m not straight now I realised that I’ve never actually been straight.
Yes, I know. I know. I know NOW.
So, when I was first living with my husband, I remember having a conversation about people of the same sex we fancied. He could think of a number of long, curly-locked guys he kinda fancied. I protested that I really couldn’t think of anyone.
Then casually mentioned a gorgeous blonde who I’d gone to secondary school with. I mentioned how pretty she was and clever and witty and kind. But you know, I only appreciated that in a totally straight way.
Then there’s Shakira. I’ve always said with a sly wink and a shy giggle that she could show me how to do the whole ‘hips don’t lie’ thing. Just wanted some dance instruction there.
Nothing gay AT ALL.
Have I convinced you yet?
Well, what if I tell you about the time I was squished up in the back of a car with 2 slightly older girls,they were going to uni, I’d just taken my GCSES. It was a church youth group thing. We often ended up in a ‘how many can we fit in the back seat?’ situation. It was the 90s.
Anyway, they were chatting and giggling and the cute blonde put her hand on the sultry brunette’s leg and exclaimed how smooth it was.
“Did you shave your thighs?” She asked.
“Yeah,” the brunette (who was sat beside me) replied.
“Oooh, you SLUT!”
The two girls laughed and talked about how shaving above the knee made you easy, apparently.
I had no idea why I had such a thorough recollection of such a throwaway moment.
Until recently when I realised I remember it ‘cos it turned me on.
So, not straight. Never really been straight at all.
What a revelation.
Some of you are probably wondering how I got to 40 years of age still thinking I was straight. To be honest, it’s something I’ve wondered a lot about myself over the last few months.
I was brought up a Christian, I went to church most weeks from being young. A lot of good came from that but a whole load of not so great was bundled in with it. Like the anti LGBT+ preaching that went on. Some of it kinda subtle, in that flawed ‘love the sinner not the sin’ kinda way or in the way it just wasn’t mentioned as even an option. Love and romance was all about finding that special guy to wait until marriage to fuck.
Other times the hate was very, very explicit. Like the whole ‘discussion’ we had at youth group about how gay sex was totally wrong, like, you can’t make babies that way AT ALL. So clearly it was wrong. All the wrong. And people should be educated about that and shown how to have proper heterosexual relationships.
And I’m not proud of it, but I believed that shit for a while. Not too long, thank God. I met lots of very wonderful LGBT+ peeps in my late teens and into my twenties and I realised some things.
1. Not being straight isn’t a bad thing.
2. LGBT+ people are like, human and stuff.
3. The bible actually has fuck all to say about homosexuality.
So I became an ally. I still thought I was straight though. Never even questioned that fact. That I think is in part because I was in love with a man, married to that man, had a kid with that man and mostly my fantasies involved blokes.
Except for the ones that had women in them. Dominant, sexy women in them.
But that was just straight fantasizing! I mean, it’s just fantasy. And it was only now and then and…
Yes, I know. I know. I know NOW.
Because I met H. I fell in lust with them, I fell in love with them and that’s more than a little bit gay.
It’s really fucking gay.
Yes, falling in love with H I realised I wasn’t straight. It was as simple and non-dramatic as that.
No one in my life has made a fuss of it. I told Mum about my relationship with H recently. She basically said as long as I don’t turn up dead in a ditch, she’s happy. My sister was similarly non-plussed.
My son rolls his eyes at my enthusiasm sometimes but mostly he encourages me in my gayness. He was instrumental in me working out what I identified as, actually. I was saying to him how I clearly wasn’t straight but what was I? He talked through everything with me and when it came down to it, I decided I’m queer.
My Nanna always used to say ‘There’s nowt as queer as folk.’ She always said it when people would do weird, out of the ordinary things. That, I feel, fits me. I have been described as an odd duck. I’m definitely not normal. So when I was working out what kind of not straight I was, queer was the one that spoke to me the loudest.
I realise I have a lot to learn. I realise I have a whole fuck tonne of privilege too. I’m Cisgender and I’ve been perceived as straight for the 40 years of my life so far. I am coming into the LGBT+ community like that person who walks into the theatre just as the show’s about to start. Apologising as they go, trying not to trip up and hoping to God no one will tut or shake their head disapprovingly.
I’m here, I’m queer and I’m terribly sorry that I’m late.