I've just 'come out' to a colleague over a glass of wine and
some antipasti. She starred whimsically into her wine glass and
said, "I wish I was a lesbian." What does she think I am, a genie's
lamp? I'd better set her straight before she tries to give me a
Being a lesbian is a funny thing to wish for. A big lottery win, a
different ending to Homeland, Dannii Minogue back on X-Factor, or
Big Macs that actually burn calories, those are the kinds of things
you'd wish for if you had the chance, surely? Oh, and world peace
of course. *Miss World face*
Straight women have said they wish they were a lesbian to me a
number times and every time I hear it I think the same thing: "Do
you though? Do you really? Or are you just mad at your boyfriend
for mistakenly peeing in your handbag again when drunk?"
I think they believe that being a lesbian is somehow easier
because there's no men involved. But being in a relationship with
blokes is a sinch in comparison because they don't have a clue what
you're thinking. They ask if you're alright, and if you say yes
that's good enough for them; they're off down the pub. Anyone who's
ever tried to answer their lesbian partner's, 'What's wrong?",
with, "nothing" would know that the following 24 hours make Jack
Bauer's interrogation scenes look like that Haribo advert where the
Dad's eaten all the fried eggs.
It trivialises lesbian relationships to suggest that they're
somehow devoid of the everyday drama and the emotional roller
coaster that is part of any functioning relationship. Do they think
Lesbian couples never fight over the stray pants on the bathroom
floor or who last emptied the dish washer? It's not all shared
wardrobes, running each other baths, and listening to each others
problems over a cups of herbal tea. Being a lesbian isn't just one
big platonic sleep over. This shit is real. It's a lot of fun,
granted, but it's still real.
The funny thing is I used to wish I was straight like my friends,
but now I'm glad I'm a lesbian. I love my life and wouldn't
wish it any other way. There are still times, however, when I wish
that being a lesbian was as effortless as being straight. I wish
that showing affection in public didn't feel like making a
statement and was just a simple invisible gesture the way it is it
is for my sister and her husband. I'm sure if my colleague had a
taster of what it's like to be treated the way many lesbians are
she'd be more careful what she wished for.
So back at the bar I decide I'm going to set her straight, "Why do
you wish you were a lesbian?" Maybe it's the wine talking, but a
rather less eruditely than I was expecting she says, "Because I
think lesbians are cool."
This woman clearly know's what she's talking about. Who am I to
argue with her?