How a stay at an artsy lesbian Airbnb made me question my whole identity
Erotic art leaves Hilary Mitchell feeling somewhat inadequate…
Picture the scene: you arrive at a London Airbnb, expecting to enter a bland, sanitised and impersonal holiday let, only to find that it’s someone’s actual home. And not just any someone: a young, go-getting lesbian power couple with a penchant for erotic art. Nude self portraits on the wall, cupboards stuffed full of very personal items, and an Emmy award in the bathroom...
Yes, I should have read the listing more carefully, and yes, I should have expected this sort of thing when visiting London (you’d never get this sort of carry-on in my home city of Edinburgh), but even so, it was quite eye-opening to say the least. And it left me feeling, well, a bit... inadequate.
To find out why, we have to go all the way back in the mists of time, to the dim and distant 1990s, where I gradually inched my way out of the closet in the most geeky, awkward way imaginable. My journey of self-discovery started with a crush on Dana Scully from The X-Files, though I pretended to everyone that I really fancied Fox Mulder. So when a brand-new Channel 5 introduced me to a leather-clad Lucy Lawless in Xena: Warrior Princess, my fate was sealed.
I then shuffled off to university, quietly convinced that it didn’t matter whether I was gay or not, as no sensible woman would ever want to date a girl who owned more than one Red Dwarf t-shirt, hid her VHS copy of Bound in her underwear drawer and wore Deirdre-From-Coronation-Street glasses two decades before they would inexplicably become fashionable again with millennials.
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