As long as there have been homo sapiens, there have been homosexuals
New poll reveals more LGBT people than ever before, but Roxy Bourdillon thinks we've always been here.
According to a new study, 4.1% of the population describe themselves as LGBT, including 7.3% of millennials, making them twice as likely to be openly queer as any other generation. So why are people born after 1980 gayer than Ellen and Portia renewing their vows in a women's prison while their pet cats watch on as witnesses? Did they do something to the water supply that year? Are our Instagram feeds turning us gay? Did we watch Glee and think, "Gosh, that looks like fun"?
My mother insists that gay people didn't exist when she was young, but I think she's confusing existing with having rights. The truth is we've always been around.There were lezza cavewomen plaiting each other's leg hairs and riding off into the sunset on woolly mammoths. As long as there have been homo sapiens, there have been homosexuals. We just used to keep our dykehood on the down-low to avoid getting harassed/sacked/fed to the dinosaurs.
Clearly people are owning their sexuality at a much younger age now. As a teenager I was so far in the closet I was eating Turkish Delight with the White Witch on the reg. All the signs were there. When I wasn't secretly hooking up with my best female friend, I was rejecting boys' sexual advances by curling myself into a human ball. I highly recommend the hedgehog method of dealing with unwanted suitors. It doesn't hurt their feelings because they just think you're insane. I didn't come out till I hit my twenties. I'm not quite sure how teen me didn't twig sooner. What was I thinking? "So what if me and Mary bathe each other at sleepovers? We're just really good friends who share a passion for hygiene."
These days not only is it more "OK to be gay", there's a plethora of ways we can label ourselves. The HER dating app gives women 13 different definitions to choose from. You can even be "flexisexual", which I'm not but I do enjoy saying out loud, or "TBD". FYI, TBD does not, as I first assumed, stand for TriBaDist. It's "To Be Determined". And in case you're wondering, I feel my sexuality is most accurately described as "the Goddess of Lesbos" or "enthusiastic rug muncher from Yorkshire".
Hopefully young people feel freer to come out sooner because their queerness is so much more accepted now. Or maybe they're just really confident because of all those selfies. But as long as they are empowered enough to express their true selves, then that's a beautiful thing. And I'm sure teenage, hormonal, hedgehoggy me would agree.
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