Apparently when I was a teenager, everyone thought I was going to be/gay.
I was unaware of this. I found out yesterday when my brother told me. He came over to help with packing and we endedup going through albums of old photos of the two us when we were children. I was such a tomboy; you would have thought our parents had twin boys, not opposite-sex twins. I had the same haircut as Mark, we dressed the same way.
You could also tell the moment in the pictures that puberty hit and it was like I overnight became a girl. I grew my hair and had it permed, and hairsprayed half to death. Arms covered in jelly bracelets. acid wash denim shorts or skirt over leggings or fishnets. Oversize neon sweaters off the shoulder. Big poufy flouncy dresses. If Madonna wore it, I wore it!
(That’s not the subject of this post though I may have to write about it anothe day)
That’s not the reason they thought I was gay, though. I was a nerd in school. I liked science and maths and engineering. I was in the chess club. My dad thought this all meant I was ‘one of those homosexuals’ and he was more worried about that than he was bringing up a girl on his own (My mum sadly passed away in 1980). He knew women, he knew girls; he didn’t know a single gay person.
I was about 14 the first time I had sexual feeling for a girl. It was in the changing rooms after a PE lesson and her name was Pamela. I remember we were all in various stages of puberty, lots of budding breasts and so on, but this girl was… shapely. She had this amazing pear shape and full breasts and, well, let’s just say if I was a boy I would have popped a boner.
I shared 3 subjects with her for something like 3 years but I could barely manage to speak to her because I was overcome with shyness caused by hormones!
At the same time though, I had a huge crush on David – he ran the chess club. He liked Star Trek and Doctor Who, he was my main competition for top of the class in maths and science and we had a friendy rivalry all through school. He was this short, skinny boy who did long distance running. We started dating when we were 15, stayed together for maybe 3 years until we both moved away to different universities.
University was when I had my first relationship with a woman, so we’re talking late 1980s. Gay was something men were, they got AIDS and they died, and they all looked either like Freddie Mercury or the guys in Right Said Fre. Lisa, this girl’s name was, and she was in some of the sames maths classes as me. Took me completely by surprise when she kissed me in the library in the middle of a study session and taught me women could be gay too. Taught me lots of things. We went pretty steady for about 2 years but then she finished university and moved home. I stayed on to do my Masters and we just… drifted apart
I dated a few guys, but never seriously. I was always far more focussed on school, science, on work and it always quickly became obvious I wasn’t the ‘wife’ they were looking for. I didn’t know how to meet women and the women I did, were intimidated by me. I wasn’t a typical lesbian. I wasn’t what they were looking for.
By my late 20s, I’d pretty much resigned myself to spinsterhood. At least I liked cats.
Then, in 1997, I met a guy called Jack. We were introduced by a mutual friend and to say there were fireworks would be an understatement. There was sex against a wall in the back alley behind a club… and I married him seven years later. That was almost 13 years ago and we’re still happily married – I can be quite certain in calling him the love of my life. Lucy, our girlfriend of 8 years, comes in a close second in that regard.