I’d known I wasn’t completely straight from that time (aged eight) when a cropped-haired girl whose name I didn't know came to pedal my plastic Police car around our back yard. Later that afternoon, we sat in my Dad’s brown leather armchair stroking each other’s forearms. She looked like a boy, sounded like a boy and even acted like a boy – but I knew different. And it's been that confusion/contradiction (She looks like a boy, she sounds like a boy, but I know different) and its opposite, that has delighted, and attracted me ever since.
I realised several years ago that my identity could shift from ‘I still don’t know what to call myself, so fuck it, I’ll settle for being straight’ to embracing what's known as ‘Queer’. Queer is a term, a group of folk, a political and personal stance that encompasses all genders and sexualities. I'd no longer have to choose straight, gay or bi, pinning down how I feel about people as though I were dissecting a bloated frog under a school spotlight. It would be okay to be that confused, contradictory, shifting little me.
Hmmm. I studied Queer Theory in Manchester when I was eighteen and took up Critical Theory at twenty-one. Though I still love queer politics and theory, I'm now in my thirties and have never really got on that well with idealistic, radical types. They make me feel jaded, old and unhip. And agendas... those insular worlds - I've done them too many times. So, yet again, I didn't really integrate into the queer scene and, feeling like a spare part, withdrew. I still veer somewhat from straight world to queer and back again, but the truth is, even at queer clubs I ended up hanging out with the ones wearing scowls in the corner and slagging off Feminism. The ones saying the wrong thing. Oh fuck, it's just how I am - it’s no one else's fault.
You have to realise: it never gets better. It goes up; plunges down. And fitting in? Well, it’s never happened yet in my life so why would it start happening now? And why bother anyway, when I can look forward to a life of increasing eccentricity, absurdity and ridiculousness?