Why don’t you fancy me?

I was 19 when I ‘came out’ to my friends (not that I was in the closet, I just happened to get a girlfriend at that age). My greatest concern was that they would think I’d been secretly desiring them for years, so I was tripping over myself to explain that I was ‘only attracted to this one particular woman’ and that I was ‘probably bisexual’ (important to make them, and me, think that this wasn’t a life long disability, merely a virus that would pass through my system and leave me a ‘normal girl’, or at least still tempted by men). There is some research to suggest that the inner ears of lesbians are different to heterosexual women. I wish those differences were external, like our ears were rotated slightly clockwise or something, so our sexual orientation was obvious and there was NO MORE COMING OUT!

I don’t want to have to explain, every time I start a new job, to my drunk and inquisitive colleagues in the pub that no, I don’t find them attractive. Not even a little bit. Nope, not even with their eyeliner permanently tattooed on. And I don’t want to deal with their hurt questions; ‘well, WHY don’t you find me attractive?’. I stutter ‘It’s not you, I mean, you are attractive, it’s just that I don’t happen to…’ God, give me strength! You can’t win. I have NEVER fancied one of my straight friends – scout’s honour (lesbians are allowed to use that. It’s in our guide book). I’m not saying that people aren’t drawn to those who have a different sexual orientation, I just haven’t been. Not that I’m owning up to in this blog anyway.

A high percentage of kids I talk to say that they would ditch their mate if they came out to them. When asked why, inevitably a boy will exclaim, ‘cos what if he likes me?!’. After pointing out that I haven’t noticed any need to physically restrain any of the straight girls in the room who are unable to contain their desire for him, I espouse the ‘rules of engagement’:

– If someone comes onto you, regardless of sexual orientation or gender, and you don’t like them, say ‘no thanks’.

– If someone continues to come onto you, regardless of sexual orientation or gender, say ‘no thanks’ more firmly and remove yourself from the situation.

– If this goes on, you’re looking at a situation of sexual assault and you need to seek help. Again, regardless of this person’s sexual orientation or gender.

– If someone comes onto you and you do fancy them, proceed with extreme caution.

It would be an unfortunate and cruel genetic mixture if we were not only born into the delightful and wacky LGBT community, but we were bestowed with an uncontrollable attraction to absolutely everybody of the same sex. Not only that, but we had ‘desire tourettes’, which meant that we raced around the streets/playground/office touching everybody with the same body parts as us with carte blanche. Kids, and bizarrely, some adults, seem to think this is the case. You have to slowly and carefully explain to them that we are not only just as restrained as anybody else, but even more so, as we might be cautious of a homophobic response.

I tell young people that if a man comes onto me, I just say thanks, but no thanks. It’s simple. I don’t hit him because he is challenging my lesbianism. I’m not going to find the presence of his heterosexuality so overpowering that I swoon, fall into his arms and become the next Mills & Boon cover. And I’m not going to catch it via other means. Sexuality is nothing to fear. It is something to discuss with humour, honesty, and if with teenagers, an unconquerable ability to keep a straight face.

NB: be aware that young people might find their way to our blog. I’m not a fan of censorship but please take care with your language if you make comment. Thanks!

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  1. #1 by steve macey on May 20, 2011 - 4:20 pm

    Lol I can so relate to that I spent ages assuring my mates that I wouldn’t sleep with them if they were the last person on earth, onlt tp have one pull me aside one day and say why not was he that bad looking. Lol I also found out when the guys at work found out, not sure how they missed me going on and on about that weeks boyfriend, they started avoiding going to the loo at the same time. In the end I simply told them if I don’t wanna socialise with you out of work why would I want to stare at their bits then!!!! People are strange I let them deal with their own issues lol

  2. #2 by Elz on May 20, 2011 - 4:41 pm

    I knooww right kinda annoying I had a gay mate who also seemed to think the same things though like she wouldn’t share a bed with me after a night out cos she seemed to think that I wouldn’t be able to restrain myself.hehe!

    • #3 by diversityrolemodels on May 21, 2011 - 9:48 pm

      To employ a psychotherapeutic term, I suspect she was projecting. She was after you all along!

  3. #4 by jools on May 21, 2011 - 9:39 pm

    why do straight people assume they are soooo desirable. it’s rarely ever the case.

  4. #5 by kaz on May 21, 2011 - 9:57 pm

    I fell 4 what turned out 2 b a str8 colleagu when i started the Job i do now! I’ve also had female colleagues avoid me since i came out! But best thing is i’m happier cos don’t have to pretend i have or want a bf ! Some have overtime realised that i fancy women in just the same way as they do blokes – not sure what they actually thought but hey ho!!! 😛

  5. #6 by Joey on May 22, 2011 - 8:11 am

    BRILLIANTLY put. Thank you

  6. #7 by Esther on May 22, 2011 - 10:37 pm

    I recall these conversations (and hope madly that I wasn’t the only one who had them with you and have hence scared you for life!)…I’m not sure if I’m going to open myself up to a whole heap of crap here…but as a ‘straight’ woman I had no comprehension of your ‘feelings’ (in regards to woman) and I suppose a lot of those questions were not so much directed at you (although you got them!) but more about broadening my mind and wanting to dicuss and learn about how, although you like girls and I like boys, that we are all still the same.
    Thank you for your understanding when I was learning. I am sorry if I said or did things that made you feel different or ‘virally infected’. When I think back on our teen years, or talk about you as my friend the matter of either of our sexualities is never part of the thought process.
    I would still sleep in the same bed as you now (as long as you don’t still sleep on a waterbed), and rest assured – I don’t fancy you either! 🙂

    • #8 by diversityrolemodels on May 23, 2011 - 8:38 am

      That made me laugh! No, you certainly didn’t cause any offence in fact I can barely remember what you said to me. It’s perfectly normal to ask questions about something new and different; I suppose the problem for LGBT young people is that those asking the questions aren’t always politely put, and the the young person being asked has a million questions of their own floating around in their heads. None of this would quite so dramatic and difficult if schools had at least broached the topic and let the idea sink into young people’s heads. At least there are gay/trans characters on TV now, although stereotypical, it’s more than what we had when we were growing up!
      Can’t believe you outed me about the waterbed. It was only so we could practise surfing!

  7. #9 by steve macey on May 23, 2011 - 8:56 am

    But that does raise a valid issue, in terms of changed group dynamics, as a victim do you assume that the person is making an attack or merely trying to process the information. Should we as individuals who may have taken years to process and come to terms with our sexuality expect those who are new to it to process it immediately? Or should we have to make allowances. If education and role models were there then those around us probably wouldn’t need as much care and love to help them through their trauma lol

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