I've always had a lot of gay friends. Whether politically or personally, I just like being around the gays. No one fits every cliché, but gay friends are more likely to be politically liberal non-conformists.
In the old days of drinking in dive bars until sunrise, I didn't meet many lesbians. It wasn't until I moved back to Toronto and started working in grassroots activist healthcare circles, that I suddenly had lots of lesbian friends.
It was totally refreshing to be around smart funny women who talked about feminist politics, and who shared my love of arts and crafts, long probing conversations and lengthy relationship debriefs.
I was also raised in a matriarchal family with a strong mom and 2 sisters. Various relatives and friends of my mom made guest appearances throughout my child and adulthood, I got the message early that you could let your hair down with girlfriends, the conversation flowed easier, the laughter was louder, the jokes funnier. Friends, for me, are generally women. I am a girl's girl to the bone.
But over time, many of my lesbian friends have started to intimate, jokingly and not, that I should just come on out of the closet. Which, I have to say, I find a little…patronizing.
OK, so I watched the L word, love JD Samson, have read both Inga Muscio’s “Cunt: a Declaration of Independence” and Jennifer Baumgarten’s "Feminista." So I'm into tattoos, vegan food and DIY, including stitching my own mentrual pads. But this is third-wave feminist stuff, not lesbian stuff.
Ok, there is the newest tattoo:
Still, I identify as a 0 on the Kinsey Scale. If you want to bell curve for my platonic crushes on Parker Posey and Greta Gerwig, you can call me a 0.5. I've been into dudes since they would have me.
Yesterday, one of my lesbian friends told me "I think everyone is gay."
I remember having dinner with another friend who said to me "How do you KNOW you're straight if you've never slept with a woman?" But there are LOTS of things I've never done that I know aren't for me.
The idea of having sex with a woman doesn't repulse me, it doesn't occur to me. I scan women for fashion and beauty, and I scan men in a more"'purposeful" manner. Baby, I was born this way.
When a lesbian friend explained about "processing" feelings with a female partner, I just felt anxious and bored. I don't want to dissect my relationship with my partner, that's what my friends are for!
I'm not in a homosexual panic. I don't think all my lesbian friends are interested in sleeping with me. I think it's more that lesbian friends find it hard to reconcile that someone with qualities they associate with lesbianism would choose to sleep with men instead.
But the intimation that a practicing "gay-o-phile" like me (in the words of my pal Tara) must be -- even unwittingly -- up for some girl-on-girl, I’m kind of over it.
I always think of how one of my friends would respond if I told her I assume everyone is secretly straight, or gently suggested she might want to sleep with a man "just to see." I'll never know, because I would never, ever, say something so rude and stupid to a woman who prefers women.