Name::straighttalker05 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. View my complete profile
I can now count the days I have left in my school on 2 hands. I am counting the hours and the minutes till the final bell. I am planning an end of school prank that will be suitable as ‘something to remember me by’, but not too extreme to get me expelled. I have my cycle helmet to stop me getting attacked by eggs by the nasty boy’s school who think it very mature to flour or egg as many girls as possible.
I look around the school I’ve been a part of for 12 years now and realise how much it’s changed. Aside from a spangly new building complete with varying degrees of technological advancement, the staff that first taught me have retired or moved on. Many of the pupils who hold memories of good times have also left their educational careers behind them. They don’t even have a school tuck shop any more.
I will not cry on my last day, the school has had too many of my tears over the years. I don’t really wish to leave with my boats burning behind me. As strange as it feels to say, never seeing all the people who have filled my days, at least between 8.50am and 3.30, again is a little daunting.
I know I’ll find myself wondering at some stage were they are and what they are doing. I’m nosey like that.
So much of the last few weeks of school is filled with such sentimental mush. Someone who has perhaps only spoken to me a few times in the last 7 years has no need to tell me how much they’ll miss me. I will miss people in varying degrees, and I hope those that I would miss will have the sense to keep in touch. It would even be a lie to pretend that I wish everyone in my year well.
“I probably won’t miss you that much. In fact, I don’t know you that well, but I’ve heard plenty of rumours about you. I don’t know what you plan to do with yourself next year, and to be honest I don’t care that much. Goodbye”
It’s coursework time of year. Despite never missing a deadline and always working on my computing coursework, it’s still not anywhere near complete, and the deadline is tomorrow.
I’ve been sitting in front of the computer now since 9.10am this morning. I enjoyed my tea using a CD ROM as a coaster, and my lunch was spent looking out the window, because that counted as outdoor activity.
I have a problem with sitting at computers, not just because the coursework is mind numbingly dull or because the school computers have so many restrictions it is virtually impossible to get anything done, but because I’m gay. When I sit at the computer I have to sit like a proper dyke, slouched in my chair. I now have severe repetitive strain injury.
It’s in my back. It’s in my neck. It’s in my wrist, it’s even in my middle finger which I use for twirling the mouse wheel. Natural light pains my eyes. I am a ball of RSI.
A massage is very tempting, and seemingly a double entendre if you are a lesbian. I realise this after mentioning to a number of people how much I would love a massage about now. “Sure you do.”
So yes, no I won’t be attending the alternative rock night in a local pub tonight. I’ll be too busy lying on the floor.
Some of the best days of my childhood were those spent off school with a cold. I watched terrible makeover shows, played Super Nintendo (and later Nintendo 64), generally drugged myself up on Vicks and Lemsip and loved every minute of it. Perhaps this is why I have this unfortunate habit of sniffing my herbal tea. Which I’m doing right now. It means I can’t drink it in company, or people think I’m strange.
Not that I’m not strange anyway. In fact, I’m not normal. Whatever normal is.
A friend who isn’t necessarily homophobic, just had great difficulty understanding lesbianism. She does keep asking me how we ‘do it’, and I suspect she thinks I may have a secret willy (I don’t by the way). She is somewhat bewildered by it all, but is rather excited to have a lesbian friend. She ran to me on Monday morning to tell me her exciting news – she had been in a local gay bar with her friends.
Her friends are drama and dance types who were on a class pub-crawl. In her description of the company was ‘Katherine… you know… my friend… oh, but she’s normal… I mean… not gay’.
I could argue with this friend over the true definition of normal, however she hates me being philosophical. So we talked about her new manicure instead.
I could just stop being friends with her for being so hurtful, but she genuinely doesn’t realise it. I could force her to understand and be more politically correct, but her innocence amuses me greatly.
Maybe she’ll realise someday that gay people can be normal too. And that normal is boring.
I have roots. And I don’t mean the dark ones that people who dye their hair have. I have roots in my town, and this makes me sad. I walk around my town and I see people who I know from school, their siblings, my mothers friends, people from church, people who work with my friends and people who, despite the fact I don’t know them, I say hello to anyway – because I should know them.
I see myself coming back here in 10 years time and still wandering around nodding at everyone. Or worse, what if I’m the local who is being nodded at?
As a closeted Super Dyke, the prospect of anonymity appeals greatly to me. Not total anonymity perhaps, but just enough that I don’t feel my future will be influenced by my past. A city would suit me nicely. I don’t want to be lonely; I just want to be myself. I feel like my roots are dragging me back, but I don’t want to be a wanderer.
Is it any wonder that many lesbians pack up and move to the big smoke as quickly as they can slam the closet door? People in small towns always whinge that there are no lesbians there – is this because they also feel this migratory instinct? And when we migrate, are we doomed to return some day to find it all the same?
I have been rattling on quite a bit recently about the struggle to accept your sexuality. It’s a difficult topic to broach because every person’s situation will be different depending on their friends, their family and what prior exposure to homosexuality they have had. I do know people to whom realisation that they were gay was not an issue – members of their family were gay, they had liberal parents and many of their friends were gay already. How I envy them.
And then at other times I reckon I am the lucky one. There are people who live most of their life in denial because of external pressures. People who know that the consequences of their sexuality would be so far reaching, they sacrifice their own happiness for that of others who will never even know the sacrifice they have mad. Some claim these people are in denial – but I have a great deal of respect for them.
I have thought many times over the consequences of my coming out. From worst to best case scenario. I reckon that really my parents do know about my sexuality, but I still reckon that if I was to come out with it, I’d still face their wrath.
Part of this self-realisation has been a hardening of myself. I was always fiercely independent, but I have perhaps gone further. I know it may be difficult, but if I was forced to sever all ties with my previous ‘life’, I would do it if it meant I was being true to myself.
Am I wary of close relationships because I realise that it all may change for the worse? Have I hardened myself, and in the worst case, could I really cope with going from having everything to having nothing by my self?
And is this burden one entirely overlooked by those investigating gay and lesbian mental health?
I thought it was interesting to read that anti-gay televangelist Jerry Falwell (www.falwell.com) lost a Supreme Court appeal. He took Christopher Lamparello (a gay man) to court after Lamparello registered a domain name (www.fallwell.com), which claimed that the evangelist’s teachings were wrong.
Falwell worries that people entering the incorrect web address will find themselves at the bogus site. However I should think “This website is NOT affiliated with Rev. Dr. Jerry Falwell or his ministry.” at the top of every page should make it clear enough.
I must admit to finding this quite humorous myself. If you care to visit www.belfastpride.org, you will find yourself redirected to the Stop The Parade Coalition’s website – in a most charming shade of pink. (The religious group are opposed to the Pride event). This is obviously meant to mislead us local gays. Just lucky we are smart enough not to be fooled by their little trick!
All this website business is quite worrying. I know a spelling mistake in Google (www.goggle.com) brings up lots of nasty adverts and so on.
So yes, if you come across any religious fundamentalists misspelling my blog address and trying to pass themselves off as me, do let me know. I might just send them a rude email or two.
Some other religious types have been putting the FUN into FUNdamentalist when they thought they'd go ruin everyone's Easter by yelling at the children and parents taking part in the White House Easter egg roll. Check out Woman's blog for a photo.
Happy Easter to one and all. I do feel a bit silly saying that to be honest. Easter always seems a bit of a non-starter each year, a bit like a watered down Christmas.
All the eggs that have been bestowed upon me, and the half price chocolate fountain I found in clearance in TK Maxx (which I haven’t bought… yet) got me thinking about one of those fabulously cheesy t-shirt slogans. “Dip Me In Chocolate and Throw Me To The Lesbians”.
I never really understood men wearing that t-shirt. Surely lesbians are likely to find a man covered in chocolate about as attractive as a man – and that’s not very. I mean, I quite like chocolate, but a chocolate covered man doesn’t exactly make my stomach rumble.
I mean, even a chocolate covered woman is a bit odd. And what about the lesbians who are lactose intolerant, allergic to wheat, gluton free or just on a diet? And those who only eat fair trade chocolate or just don’t like chocolate?
I really wouldn’t mind if one of the list of celebrities who I fancy appeared at my door covered in chocolate, but it isn’t exactly that romantic, plus chocolate all over my light blue carpet? I think not. I do believe I would have to hose Katherine Moennig down before I let her in to do my niceties.
So yes. Leave off the chocolate. Too many eggs today already .
I’m generally not a big fan of ‘straight’ bars. Not only because I worry their clientele will judge me, or worse, punch my nose in, but also because I get hit on by ugly drunk men every time I enter one. I’m really not blowing my own trumpet, I’m not exactly a work of art deserving of adoration at every port, but basically in that setting I don’t want it.
Upon entering a straight bar last night I was assailed by no less than three ugly drunk men (and another one did wink at me). They asked if myself and my straight friend had boyfriends. When we said we did not, they asked if we were lesbians (in jest of course). Ha. Ha.
Having escaped from their greasy clutches and suggestive eyebrow movements (with only half a pint of Tenants spilled on my new trousers), I moved towards acquaintances at another table. I looked around. I like to think I have relatively good gaydar, but it did seem rather like most of http://www.gaydargirls.com/ had come to this quaint pub. And all the ugly drunk men obviously hadn’t realised.
So a number of knowing glances later I sidle over and say I think we’ve met somewhere before. Oh yes… at gay pride/women’s soccer/a gay bar.
Of course, the loud music did mean that all these prospective gays had to stand ever so close to be heard. Convenient. The ugly drunk men have obviously not picked up on this either. Nor had they picked up on the number of rainbow accessories and variations on the mullet present.
The ugly drunk men are the sort that generally dislikes gay people, making crude jokes and references to homosexuality. They also obviously can’t lift their eyes from their pints to notice that their watering hole is like a mini Soho.
I like to think I’m quite sure of my identity. I am gay (if you hadn’t already gathered that.) I would be the first to say that coming to this conclusion was not easy. I spent many a late night doubting myself, I ended up in counselling and was generally pretty depressed around the time I was ‘coming to terms’ with who I am.
I don’t think that this struggle I went through makes me a worse person. I don’t think it makes lesbianism bad because of the pain I went through to discover it. I am proud of my identity. I’m proud to be a girl who loves girls. I’m proud to follow examples set for me by role models. I’m proud to be part of a community that is generally accepting and one that I feel comfortable in.
I’m not selfish, but being gay is MY thing. It is far from the defining feature of my life, but it does form an important part of my outlook on many things. I do object ever so slightly to my peers joining the ‘club’ without, to my knowledge, ever undergoing the strange induction ceremony that is ‘realisation’. Something that is very important to me, is a flippant weekend thing for them. While I spent quite a long time researching into what exactly my sexual preference was defined as, they just say…
I find it most sobering to wonder over homosexuality through the ages. Perhaps it’s the historian in me coming out (pun not intended), or maybe it’s because looking at the history of secrecy and persecution, I can relate fully with lesbians hundreds of years ago.
Stories of homosexuality in history are somewhat scarce. Those that there are, are usually biased. It would be easy to imagine that lesbianism just didn’t exist, but it would be daft to say it never did. In the world of the time though, people faced persecution, they were condition to believe it was something horrible. In many cases, did women even really know what a lesbian was?
Sometimes I reckon I have it quite hard. Being trapped in a closet, Yet, I am lucky, I live in a relatively liberal society where there are really no laws to stop me being who I am. I can in theory associate freely. I can attend a clubs and pubs and pride events and be open about who and what I am. I can publish my thoughts in a blog.
It makes me wonder, if I didn’t know what a lesbian was, would I still be who I am? I think I would be. At age 14 it dawned on me that I was attracted to a woman who was attracted to woman. She was a lesbian. That made me a lesbian too.
Being thought of as a loudmouth lesbian does have it’s minor benefits. Not only do most boys take the hint and keep their distance, but also I get out of the end of term ‘Easter Service’.
The Easter Service is taken the group of evangelical fanatics who form the cliquish school Scripture Union. Granted, many of them are my friends, however we have locked horns many times of issues of theological authority and then generally being hypocritical and judgemental. The Easter Service when I first started the school was one or two hymns, a prayer and the school notices, but since my peers have some through the ranks, it is now an all singing, all dancing, half hour ‘Praise’ fest.
I do know that for the SU girls, the Easter Service is a super important event in their social calendar. For the rest of the school it is an unnecessary chance for them to shove their perfection (or supposed perfection) down our noses.
The result of this cliquey religious drama is that most of the school try to avoid making it, being ‘accidentally’ late, walking the long way to it, or just leaving school before it.
I go for the latter, enjoying my lunch at home while they prance and dance and sing about lambs and love. Today as I walked away from the Assembly Hall, I encountered a teacher taking on the role of shepherd:
“You’re all going to be late! Hurry up! The Headmaster is ready to start already!”
Indeed, I almost expected to be steered back, however this teacher knows I’m gay. She also believes all lesbians are heathen. Therefore when she said ‘Are you not going?’ and I said ‘No. Have a nice Easter holiday.’ No more questions were asked.
Of course I should have attacked her for her stereotypical view. However that would have eaten into my holiday time.
I get annoyed very easily; I guess I just have a fiery personality. Nothing annoys me more than someone who talks about themselves all the time, or someone who talks about something they know you aren’t remotely interested in for extended periods of time.
And yet, in many ways I may be guilty of this sin. I know this because when they are rattling on about something or other, in the back of my head I’m thinking “Yes, but back to me me me”.
As a member of an all girls school I am forced to listen to hundreds of girls talking about vaguely uninteresting things between 8.50am and 3.30pm. I could write books on hair, manicures, waxing (in places I didn’t need to know about) and the sex positions of Northern Ireland’s middle class princesses.
It would be easy to blow one of my many fuses and tell one of them to just shut her fly trap and either talk about something more engaging, or sellotape it shut. However, I don’t have 1150 fuses, so I just keep quiet.
Granted it may be a bit unfair for me to presume they’d like to talk about riot grrl music, feminist poets and the football. But a bit of effort goes a long way.
Courtesy, it seems is expected in everything – unless you don’t conform. _____________ Cartoon by Natalie Dee
My life is one of contrasts; everything is on one side of a sliding spectrum. I’m good and I’m bad. I’m a social butterfly and I’m lonely. I’m cool and I’m a geek. I’m gay and I’m straight.
I don’t really have a problem with being the contradiction I am. I like to be varied, but I hate to lie. Sometimes I do get upset when I run things too closely. After my first Pride I had to go away on holiday with my parents where I had to pretend to be straight when I was secretly bursting to show my new found pride.
Yesterday I spent the morning among close friends who know I’m gay. I was quite open, and it was, as always a pleasure to spend time with them. Being ‘let out’ is so important to me, sometimes I’m just screaming to spend some time when I don’t feel I’m pretending.
After this I went to a friend’s 18th birthday, held in her evangelical church. There was for a start no drink, no lesbians and while they did play some of The Village People, I just couldn’t get into it in that setting.
Maybe it just wasn’t my night. Or maybe it was too much of a low after my day. I hated every moment of it because I knew every person there would condemn me. Everyone there was narrow-minded. Everyone there could only connect with me on the most superficial of levels.