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Straight Talking
About Me

From::Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
I'm an avid dreamer. I have big ideas, and I'll probably take them somewhere. Watch this space. I want to present what I think - and not with words minced up into an acceptable platter. Some things need to be told straight - particularly gay rights. Particularly life in the closet, it's very nature means no one hears it. If they do it's usually tinted with nostalgia. I'm confident, I know what I like and what I don't. Please don't confuse this for arrogance. I'm probably more insecure then you imagine.
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Straight Talker is a poor student now.

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Recent Posts

Coming Out of the Woodwork
Clean Air Prevails
You Big Pansy
Pink Pounds… Lots of Them
Gordon Doesn't Like Us
On The Move
Beware Gay Music
Safe Sex For Dummies
London Baby Yeah
Closet Case


August 2005
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October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
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January 2007
February 2007
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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Pride and Prejudice

Do we replace our own insecurity and fear of prejudice by staunch pride?

As the rainbow flags of another summers’ Pride events fade into memories and we wait out another cold Northern Irish winter, I have begun to wonder just why we feel the need to display gay pride in such a bold way.

The function of gay pride parades is open to interpretation. Some may argue it is for us to show who we are; while for others it’s just another excuse to party.

As people hold their banners high, both physically and mentally, it may seem a victory march - a memorial for what all homosexuals have come through, both personally and in the generations of prejudiced society. Perhaps, behind the feathers and glitter there is a sense of foreboding, of what is still to come. Gays escaped into the music that resounded about the streets of Belfast and around the world – ‘Some danced to remember, Some danced to forget.’

As a ‘closeted’ lesbian, Pride represented a turning point in my life – the realisation that I wasn’t alone. The rainbow colours washed away the loneliness, and replaced it instead with a feeling of extreme pride.

Gay Pride means different things to different people. While it may be a sharing in feeling, the feeling is still personal. To pick out a single reason why we continue to fill the streets with colour would be wrong.

As Belfast Pride moves into its 16th year, one thing is certain; Pride will continue to swell in Northern Ireland.
Reccomended links:
This article was originally written a few weeks after my first Pride, Belfast 2003. It has been published on www.worldqueerdomination.com - check it out!
Photo - (c) Andrew Muir - http://www.andrewmuir.net/ - Used with permission :)


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Girl's Best Friend

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Gay men to shop with and warm woollen mittens.

Perhaps I’m insecure, but sometimes it’s very tempting to wish I was someone else. Not necessarily someone more attractive, older and more intelligent (although all three would be appreciated). Sometimes… I wish I was a gay man.

They do seem to have it all – at least in the eyes of a straight female. Everyone wants one – a gay best friend. They are the next best thing to a boyfriend for a desperate hetero-girl, only better. A girl’s ideal man is dying to go shopping, isn’t afraid to tell them that NO ONE can pass off red stilettos (unless they are a model) and that your butt does look big – in that skirt. He will listen carefully no matter how annoying you really are – oh, and they aren’t just ‘after one thing’, well, at least not with you.

Is it a conspiracy? Have all the gay men got together and found the perfect way to get equal rights and social acceptance is through females? Is making countless sitcom’s of stereotypical gay males the real way to get pro-gay legislation? Are they more entertaining – or do they just know something we don’t?

I’m aware that not all queer men are Jack from ‘Will & Grace’ and not many I know are too very like the ‘Queer Eye’ guys. I guess we can let the straight girls dream… You never know – all this exposure to gay culture may even make them slightly less scathing when it comes to the gay male’s female counterpart.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Forgotten Few?

I’m sure we’ve all heard the 1 in 10 figures, and whether or not you believe them, they seem as good a basis for an argument as any. If 1 in 10 of the girls in my school are gay, that means there are approximately 2.5 l/fc (lesbians per form class).

Yet schools across the UK, and indeed across the world are constantly failing 10% of their pupils. I won’t be naive here, I know the 1 in 10 figures are debatable, and in particular with youth, where many people are confused, uncomfortable or just unaware of their sexuality the real number (currently) may actually be less than this. That’s not to say that 1 in 10 of school pupils won’t decide they are gay at a later age, finding the challenge of overcoming opinions they learnt at school.

School is meant to present a basis for life; opinions, attitudes and life skills are learnt alongside the books and studies. Whereas racism is no longer tolerated, homophobia is allowed to become commonplace, so much so it is accepted as an insult. Bullying because of sexual orientation, or presumed sexual orientation is so common now that I have witnessed staff overlooking it, taking what could potentially be extremely damaging as a joke.

Like the military, there is very much a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ attitude, not just for pupils, but also for teachers. Homosexual staff members feel they must hide their sexuality and that aspect of their lives, while their heterosexual counterparts are free to discuss trivial matters, and to bring their partners to events.

Gay students’ needs are entirely ignored by sexual health lessons. It’s almost like invisibility makes it ok.

Jeff Perrotti, who has devoted himself to making classrooms ‘safe’ for LGBT pupils said:

“Each of us is someone who could, in some small way, help make gay kids feel safe, welcome and valued at their schools. What better time to begin than the start of a new school year?”

And yet I feel we need to do more – more than just offering safety, but to offer acceptance and a chance to allow gay students to develop their sexuality in the same ways as their straight peers. An end to silence and an end to discrimination.

Reccomended links:

The image above is taken from 'Lost and Delirious' - a fab film based on the novel by Susan Swan. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Mixed Signals

I’m again venturing onto uncharted territory. Straights. Or more specifically straights that like to imagine they could dabble in homosexuality. I’m sure I’m not the first lesbian to become wholly frustrated by the attentions of a girl who I know isn’t actually interested in me, other than for novelty value.

Perhaps they are guiltless and don’t realise they are overtly flirting. Maybe they are just tactile. But more than likely they find the enigma of lesbianism something to toy with. Like those furry cat toys on the end of a string, I am but nylon fibres.

‘Sure’, you say, ‘What’s the harm in a bit of flirtation?’

Well, you see, it’s not the principle of the flirtation; it’s the completely pointless nature of it. It is also totally unrequited in many ways. They flirt with me, I know they are straight and therefore don’t flirt back. I flirt back; they get all weirded out by the whole lesbian thing, drop major hints about ‘my BOYFRIEND’ and back off. In reality it’s not how the ideal flirting exchange goes at any stretch of the imagination.

So to sum up the full cycle:

1. Girl hears that I am gay.
2. Girl suddenly finds my jokes funny, gazes at me longingly and pats my knee.
3. Girl just so suddenly realises that I am a full on, real life, homosexual and therefore must fancy her and imagine her in a school uniform (because that’s what lesbians do.)
4. Girl hurriedly mentions boyfriend, longing for 100 children and a big shoe to live in.
5. I wonder if I really am THAT scary.

I guess this is address at Ms. Jekyll and Miss Hyde. Stop messing with our brains. How would you feel if a gay male put YOU through such torment?


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Culture Shocks

It seems ironic that in a world where ‘straight’ cultures are enforced on us from an early age, the world seems to have a love/hate fascination with queer culture. Maybe I just live in a bubble where queer culture is the topic of the day, or maybe I am just surrounded by the age group for whom queer culture is no longer taboo.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall in my friends other conversations, not just to hear what they really say about me, but to see if homosexuality is something which I induce or if they really are obsessed by the world they really don’t know much about.

I find myself spending more and more of my time correcting people about the exact terms and implications of the civil partnerships legislation. I seem to be the one giving mini lectures about gay human rights and their abuses. And everyone who is anyone seems to want to know about gay bars and camp men. In fact, I’m convinced that my guru status on gay issues is more likely to out me than my love of KD Lang – who, it seems straight people have never heard of (but don’t worry – I’ll educate them on lesbian music legends later.)

The coolest friends you can have are gay men, the camper the better. It’s really fun to find out who has ‘turned lesbian’ since they left school. Nothing spices up the conversation better than comparing notes on gay marriage and Christianity.

'Queer Culture' - Or not.

And yet this new found interest, perhaps we’ll call it a hobby, is over shadowed by sheer ignorance. Now maybe I’m just being greedy, but I like the rainbow flag to be for me, and not hijacked by ignorant straights because it’s “cool”. These straight people seem to still believe that all gay men as promiscuous, that all gay men totally LOVE Barbara Streisand, and that it’s all some dingy sub culture which only happens in dark alleyways. Lesbians are fine to talk about, as long as there is a 3 mile radius between them and the nearest one, and after all, they still don’t really understand how we… how we… you know…‘do it’.

I guess it’s comforting in some ways to be able to talk openly about something close to my heart, but I won’t pretend I still find some of their opinions hurtful, and their ignorance frustrating, almost as much as an academic analysis of your sexuality is also insanely annoying.

The only thing I find refreshing about these discussions is that we can have them. The media has played a large role in bringing queer culture to the forefront of everyone’s minds, if not their eyes, even if it is still only to a somewhat limited audience in some cases. Perhaps in time the ignorance will be replaced by tolerance, and the fascination with understanding. I’m not totally sure a straight person can ever understand certain aspects of me, but I guess interest instead of ignoring is certainly a start.

Reccomended links:

If you're after some true lesbian culture, check out this site. It has a list of lesbian images in art from as early as 1500.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bi When Drunk

Before I get my teeth sunk in this week, I feel obliged to state that I don't actually have an obsession with bisexuality, but rather it is just something which I seem surrounded with at this present time, and thus I am writing about it.

There is a story I could be hypothetical about (friend of a friend and all that jazz), but you would probably guess it was me anyway. I was at a party, and had perhaps a little too much to drink. I was in rather high spirits, so high in fact that everyone else seemed to me to be having as much fun as me. To cut what could be a potentially long story short, I ended up getting "rather close" to girls from school.

So I outted myself, but it is no big deal, because as far as they can see, I'm "bi when drunk" which is, apparently, socially acceptable.

But yet, if I was to go a step beyond "bi when drunk", say, to "full blown lesbian", I would be socially excluded. Perhaps I'd be packed off to the freak show, or maybe just not invited to the party.

Lesbians have this stigma caused by ignorance. Girls seem to imagine that if someone is a lesbian they are a predator, and of course it would be utterly stupid to assume that a lesbian mightn't actually fancy you in the first place. Therefore the logical conclusion of these two factors would mean that a lesbian is after you. (If you are easily scared, I recommend you look over your shoulder now.)

Time to get out my trusty hammer again. Lesbians are not all predators. I'm sure there are one or two among us who may be, but then, there are straight (and dare I say it, bisexual) predatory types too. And if you are stupid enough to seriously believe that someone fancies you just because they happen to be gay and of the same sex as you, look in the mirror love, I bet you aren't even my type. Because, you know what? Not every lesbian fancies every female in the world.

So, for now I have cult status I'm a "bi when drunk", which is TOTALLY cool. However, if I was "lesbian when drunk, tipsy and sober", that would be TOTALLY uncool. Excuse me while I despair.

I can't say I'm particularly fussed to be confused with a "bi when drunk". Maybe one day someone will wake up and realise that I must be plastered all the time the way I get on. Maybe they'll also realise it doesn't change me, I'm still the girl they know and I can still party just as hard as the rest of them.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Everyone is one this season.....

Like buses, bisexuals seem to come along all of a sudden, blocking all the traffic, and leaving you cursing their lateness. It seems no sooner is one person bravely sticking their limbs from the closet, and they’re all at it. Not that I’m complaining of course, being the only gay in the village wasn’t much fun anyway.

The girls who were the homophobes of yesterday, are the bisexuals of today. And in saying bi, by god are they bi. Even I am getting bored of their constant flag waving, and I consider myself to be a flag-waving fan.

And yet… (like me being straight) … it seems all to be a show. I reckon if I was to burn my boats and flirt with one of these girls, they’d come over all coy. If I was to come stampeding from my closet, waving my rainbow flag and proclaiming my girl loving, they’d suddenly be going back to yesterday. Yes, the sad truth is, bisexuality is often a choice, like costume jewellery, it’s fashionable.

I’m not condemning bisexuals in the slightest, they are after all our brothers and sisters. I do however; condemn the show offs for whom sexuality seems little more than a new pair of shoes (which will be tossed to the pile for next season).

So where has this surge come from? Suddenly straight bars are full of women kissing – no – it isn’t a magnificent step towards integrating into their culture, an end to gay bashing and homophobia, for every female couple kissing, there’s a straight man ogling over them.

Not to demonize these girls, who I’m sure, are only on for a night out, and perhaps a date at the end of it, but what about me? What confusing signals! A girl flirts with me, and the next thing she’s dropped me like a pair of smelly socks, for a man (who I’m sure isn’t half as interesting as me anyway).

So beware girls, don’t come crashing from your closets yet. Look over her shoulder and the boy there, and wonder if she’ll even remember it in the morning.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Lying To Be Me

So I admit it. I’m a lying lesbian. And who can blame me? I’m sure my church would condemn my lies. I’m sure my mother would be most disappointed in me. I’m sure my father would cry if he knew the lies I tell.

Ever since we are young we are told that honesty is the best policy, and that lying is wrong. Yet like Santa and the Easter Bunny, this myth eventually fades, and we are left with the truth that to lie isn’t that bad, as long as you aren’t a bad liar.

As a child I had a sad affliction, every time I told a lie, no matter how little, white or outrageous, I would go bright red. My family and friends still look back at my flushes with amusement. They assume that this incessant blushing is still the case.

Perhaps “liar” and “closeted lesbian who still wants some kind of social life” fall into the same bracket. Even if this is not the case, I cannot pretend that I haven’t become a much more accomplished fibber since I accepted my sexuality. Over the past years I have found myself choosing not to divulge (or rather lie about) the lesbian youth web forums I visit, the lesbian friends I have and my exact whereabouts on the day of the Gay Pride Parade. Even the very books I read are by ‘feminist authors’, not ‘lesbian authors’.

“I don't think homosexuality is a choice. Society forces you to think
it's a choice, but in fact, it's in one's nature. The choice is whether one
expresses one's nature truthfully or spends the rest of one's life lying about

Marlo Thomas

So – now you are either disgusted, empathetic, or are wondering just what my problem with telling the truth is. Time to smash down another wall of conception from my youth. I’ve learned that lying is easier. Lying means I don’t have to come out to a family of high religious (or at least conservative) belief, I don’t have to justify my interest in lesbian youth forums and gay pride parades, and lying means I don’t have to be the me it wouldn’t be comfortable to be to those who I know, or at least presume wouldn’t understand.

I’m not a compulsive liar at any stretch of the matter in hand. I lie as a defensive measure, to protect myself. Surely you cannot begrudge me the right to defence?

Fume at me if you believe it’s immoral to be me to myself alone.

Call me despicable if I care too much for fragile, fabricated illusions.

But remember, I’m not the only liar.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Proceed With Caution – Stereotype Ahead

In this weeks offering I am going to deal with the somewhat taboo subject of lesbian stereotypes. If you are likely to become infuriated, huffy or at risk of a coronary heart attack, please look away now.

I won’t insult your intelligence by detailing exactly what a ‘lesbian stereotype’ is. There are, amazingly, a great many variations to this supposedly open and shut case. Lipstick lesbians, tomboyish dykes and butch drag kings are all among the many stereotypes to which we all apparently conform. Even non-conformity is considered a convention of lesbianism.

But do we secretly want to be stereotyped? In a world which is tainted by the ever present ‘is-she-or-isn’t-she’ doubt, would it be easier for us to conform to a certain stereotype as a way of identifying potential partners and like minded individuals? I can’t pretend I haven’t used music tastes and rainbow accessories as a way of signalling my preference to others of ‘our side’, all be it in a veiled way.

We can’t make lesbianism an exclusive members only club. Perhaps you think I am being absurd even suggesting it, but how many of us have been secretly confused by the short-haired girl in baggy trousers at the bus stop, who 9 months later is wheeling a pram? I may be excused for assuming that to a certain extent our gaydar’s work on stereotypes. That may explain why our egos take a certain dent if we are wrong.

It would seem we are all guilty of stereotyping, no matter how much we protest that we hate stereotypes, that we are more than just a stereotype and that we aren’t actually one anyway. It seems that stereotypes, and non-conformity are all part of our culture, which we are willing to accept at varying degrees.

If you’ve read this far and aren’t disgusted at my narrow-mindedness, then congrats. If on the other hand you are promptly closing your window in disgust and vowing never to read my blog again, excuse me, these are not cold hard facts, just the take on life of a non-stereotypical, tomboyish, rainbow accessorised, KD Lang and Melissa Etheridge fan, vegetarian and political activist lesbian.


Monday, September 05, 2005

If We Were All The Same, Would We Hate Ourselves?

Homosexuals are regarded by and large as liberal. This is not a choice many of us have made; it was instead made by the liberals. They chose to accept us into their fold when most more conservative thinkers were busy staring at their cufflinks or looking at their polished shoes. Liberals are the open books of the political spectrum, they aren’t racist, homophobic or sectarian. But is it fair to tar us all with the same brush? Are gays the most –phobic of all?

I know many lesbians who will not by principle knowingly date a bisexual girl. Common comments include ‘That’s just being greedy’, and ‘You just can’t have the best of both worlds.’ Surely this is biphobia?

And what about the straights? ‘They’re all just teases’, ‘Straight girls can’t jump’ and ‘Remember – they can’t help it.’ We may be a minority – but boy can we do snide comments well.

So what is it that makes us so afraid? I don’t believe it’s just a splinter of our culture. I believe it’s deep and engrained, it runs deeper than just peer pressure or superficial appearances; it’s a fear of falling in love.

Most of us will have fallen for a straight girl at some stage, and probably that unrequited love was smashed by the arrival of a man, trampling through our daydreams and starring in our nightmares. It is this same fear, not of women, but of male interference that sets in place our phobia of anyone who isn’t like us.

It is somewhat foolish of us to imagine that a partner is more likely to cheat on us with a man than with another woman, but then if your relationship is going to be riddled with these insecurities, it’s maybe best not to enter into it at all.

Perhaps it’s time to live by that Mark Twain quote I keep seeing everywhere:

“Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth”


Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Great Pretender

I never thought I’d see the day when I would say ‘It was easier when they presumed I was gay.’

Those who know me, or at least those whose ears I have chewed in the past, will know how wound up I used to get when people made jokes about me being gay. I was ultra sensitive to homosexual connotations and would blush hysterically and gibber out excuses –


Perhaps my colleagues added two and two together and finally made lesbian, but after a while I shrugged off comments. I always assumed my wit and sarcasm fended off any suspicions. I was wrong.

When I supposedly started dating a guy, it was met not with the usual hysterical giggling or coos to which I was spectator. It was instead met with disbelief, ‘A boyfriend? You? We all presumed you were a lesbian.’ I won’t pretend it didn’t dumbfound me, but I am a bit of an expert at lying now -

‘What – me? Are you all mad, sure I’m as straight as they come.’

What I didn’t appreciate at the time was the convenience of being presumed homosexual. I didn’t get accused of fancying any boy I mentioned, I wasn’t asked for my opinion on male models, and quite frankly I didn’t have as much pretending to do.

Far from being the raving lesbian who spends her nights running rampant around the gay scene, I retire instead to my closet, as sleep crawls upon me, exhausted from a day of straight acting. Where in logic is it easier to be presumed a gay acting straight than a straight acting straight?

Surely I deserve an Oscar? A Golden Globe at least for my performances as The Great Pretender.

First of all, I’d like to thank my parents for having me. I’d also like to thank my primary teacher for wearing such low cut tops that I developed a mild obsession with her. I’d like to thank my first girlfriend for helping me realise so much about myself. And, of course, my ‘boyfriend’, for getting me in this mess.