Forgive my ignorance, but what’s the deal with the whole lesbian vs bisexual thing we’ve got going on? I’ve felt it, the fear and the resentment and the wilful misunderstanding simmering beneath the surface. Sometimes it bursts out on Twitter or Facebook like an angry boil and the trolls crawl out from under their bridges with spikes. How did we get here and why? It’s even touched my own relationships. Several of the women I’ve dated have been bisexual. When I talk about being gay, almost every one of them has rushed to clarify their sexual status: “Um, actually I’m bisexual. Is that okay?” Well, of course it is – why wouldn’t it be? I don’t care how a woman identifies – gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans, label-less, otter. You want to go and start building little houses in streams? Go for it. I got your back, beautiful. As long as you love me.
Recently I was chatting to an old colleague, who’s in a long-term relationship but has started having feelings for women: “I don’t know whether to talk to my boyfriend or just, you know…go have fun,” she said, flushing. Maybe…try not to cheat?” I said gently.
Regrets are terrible things. They’re like pieces of glass littering a beach. As you roam back over your memories it’s all warm and soft until you feel the sharp slice of them through your feet. They hold so much power. What could my life have been if only I had followed my heart, held my nerve, chased my dreams? The path you took will never be as exciting or fulfilling as the one that passed you by.
Unrequited love. It sounds so…dramatic doesn’t it? Like something from a novel or a film: “l’ll never love again!” she cried breathlessly. Unrequited love is champagne tears and silk gloves and morose diamonds in the moonlight. It’s mourning and yearning and summers in Paris in the arms of another lover. It’s sending away breakfast and picking at dinner and waiting for the hopeful ding of the postman’s bell. It’s an affliction of youth: a brief, sweet, bitter wail of despair, strong in its turn but swift to abate.
I’m on the tube heading to a cocktail bar when my date texts me: “So sorry, running 15 minutes late!” I tell her not to worry, head to the bar and settle into my seat with a glass of wine.
It’s the day after my bruising encounter with the Swiss but sadly I have no time to wallow as I have to haul ass to one of my best friend’s weddings. My mate and I forget our invitations in our hungover panic and end up toddling around London in 30 degree heat looking for the venue. We arrive with just minutes to go, sweating like a pair of boiled hams.
I like to think of myself as fairly rational in matters of the heart. I remember women who fell hard and fast in my youth, often for men who had about as much respect for them as a bag of Wotsits. They’d invariably get hurt, limping off with battered, bloodied dreams whilst Mr.Wotsit coaxed a new woman into bed. I didn’t get it. Where was the slow burn? The prudence of a love that begins with an amble rather than a sprint?