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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Blog 41 Not a Lesbian but...


Should I marry Adriana?

The woman has been bombarding me with e-mails of a saucy nature for many weeks now. This Adriana gal reckons she’s impressed with my manhood. I can only assume she means my man hoody (the taupe jacket with a hood I bought in the boy’s clothing section). Apparently she knows me and we’d get on and there are any number of things she’d like to do to me if I just answered her e-mail – though she seems to think I’m called  - something unprintable. Now I’m not a lesbian but I’m such a heterosexual disaster area I’m tempted to press the reply button. I’m wondering if when I perform at the Pride fest in Newcastle in July, I shouldn’t ask for my own acronym to add on to LGBT. If they could find one which means ‘heterosexual woman who doesn’t understand heterosexual men’ (think non-vegetarian who nevertheless gets indigestion from meat!) I’d be most grateful.

And I’ve something in common with the LGBT community – certainly the teen confusion bit. I was 17 before I fundamentally understood I wasn’t white. The revelation , denouement, shock exposure, eye-opener, occurred in a toe-curlingly but strangely innocuous way in the Sixth Form common room in Solihull Sixth form where I was the only non-white pupil.

There was one of ‘those’ girls called Emma. Self confident, sexy, sought after, knew what to say / wear; how to flick her hair, flirt with the boys and the tutors. So picture the ‘in group’ with the rest of us hanging round the edges, talking in that pretentious way only 17 year-olds know how about life and relationships and the issue of race came up. Clearly no one noticed me go rigid as I suddenly became aware of trying to control my facial expression. On this occasion the topic was whether people’s parents were racist and would they mind you bringing home a black boyfriend. People pondered on this and I kept absolutely still then Emma piped up with the perfect response that everyone seemed to think was terribly reasonable. Her parents wouldn’t mind at all, she stated proudly, as long as they didn’t think she was going to marry him.

It wasn’t the projectile thrown from a car window or abuse on the street or anonymous mail which I experienced later but suddenly the limited amount I knew about bigotry, intellectually and politically, had a human face. And when bigotry doesn’t actually spill over into violent, raging hatred that is what it is like. It is insipid and nasty with an unaccountable air of respectability and some people who have never been the target of it don’t even accept what it is.

 So maybe I should just bag up my issues and confusions and go to France (well done France) and marry Adriana. What do you think?

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