This is our truth, tell us yours
One of the organizations I am connected to circulated a survey to people like me, asking us to fill it in if we were LGBT.
I didn’t fill it in.
Despite my occasional lapses into camp sarcasm in the office, and my acknowledged expertise about cruising, dogging and other occasions of man on man sex, my colleagues see me as straight. I don’t know if they speculate on whether I might have dabbled in the past, but I’m seen as straight, and that means I experience life as if I were straight.
When the bairn was telling me about the Facebook takedown circulating her school she asked ‘How do boys know we’re not lesbians?’
They don’t, of course, and most teenage boys who assume a girl is a lesbian get it wrong, but that was less interesting than the discussion we had about how you know if you’re a lesbian before it happens, so to speak.
I was exclusively gay until the first time I had sex with a female, and often doubted if I would ever have sex with a female. Once I’d crossed that bridge however, I was quite happy playing for both teams.
I was happily bisexual thereafter, until I chose a monogamous relationship. Then I was straight. These days I don’t exclude the possibility of being bisexual, but I’m quite content in the life I’m leading.
You’ll notice here that I’m trying to distinguish sexuality between what we can imagine and what we do. It’s a difficult area. Do we label as bisexual everyone who’s ever imagined a sly wank off another bloke or any woman who’s ever snogged a mate on a night out?
There’s a practical reason for this meander through a fraught and dangerous area.
Imagine you’re a teenage virgin. (Write your own jokes here). You know what you think you will like, but you haven’t done it yet. You might be sure you know what you want, but until you’ve done it….
The bairn posed a reasonable question when she asked ‘how do you know what you are?’ I think my life would have been easier if I had been able to describe myself as ‘happy to be surprised’. I would be happiest if my bairn could fill in a form about her sexuality with a new box labelled ‘unlikely to de shocked’.Call yourself what you like now, but not to the extent that you preclude the possibility of being surprised by desire.