And the shit we have to endure before, during & after bursting out of the closet.

Curiosity killed the cat. It also nearly killed a colleague of a friend of mine a few years ago, who made it his sole purpose in life to ‘out’ her. For what reason(s) I do not know.

With this in mind, I thought it might be helpful to offer up a few strategical tactics for those in a similar position to my friend. I have listed five bulletproof ways to avoid the inevitable, endless stream of interrogation, for want of a better word, surrounding your sexuality whether you are in, out or on the peripheral –

  • Do not leave the house unless it is absolutely necessary to do so, and then only go out at night so you come into contact with fewer people, and therefore less likely to be questioned as brutally.

  • When you reach the ripe old age of 25 and have still not settled down with Mr Right, find yourself a nice, compatible gay man and enter into a consensual, arranged marriage.

  • Walk around with an ‘I am a lesbian’ message stuck on your forehead at all times so that there can be no doubt.

  • Join a convent and become a nun.

  • Or you could always just say fuck it; who cares anyway?

The thing is, of course, everyone and their granny seem to care. Something I have never quite understood but realised is an innate part of human nature. And of course we lesbians are no exception, the Gay Radar is on a constant state of high alert for most of us, most of the time.

The difference is how some people use your sexuality to promote their own agenda, be it political, religious and/or social. People like Mike Pence, for example, disturb me greatly because he is in every school, home and workplace (not literally of course) and comes in many disguises. Sometimes blatant and sometimes not so.

I have often wondered how it would feel to not constantly have to explain or justify my lifestyle choice, and for people to accept that actually yes as shocking a statement as this may sound, I am very happy without a man in my life. A fact that is incomprehensible to straight women and men. How could anyone not want a woman in their life? That is incomprehensible to me. So in a sense, I see where the straight men are coming from here (there is logic in this somewhere I’m sure).

It is relentless though. There is no one big coming out parade, no once and for all done and dusted announcement that is going to catapult you through the rest of your life without ever having to explain yourself again to the higher, moral echelons of society. It’s tiring, wearing and sometimes just plain annoying. I can’t think of any other group that is subjected to and provokes this level of sustained curiosity and scrutiny. What do we do after all?

People with a penis however seem to attain a certain level of understanding because they don’t suffer from that incurable condition: ‘penis envy’. I don’t personally know any lesbians that suffer any symptoms of this condition but apparently it is rife amongst us.

So, in times of despair I like to think of us lesbians as the chosen few, part of an elite group of people put on this planet with the primary role of upsetting the neat and tidy order of all things heterosexual.

Even against the backdrop of lesbian-phobia, I would not change a thing or swap places with any heterosexual woman, anywhere, for all of the money in the world. Lesbians, we most definitely have the better deal. Embrace it, love it and live it.