Still I yearn.
The way she walked and laughed and made our itchy catholic school kilt look as though it were made for her – had me rapt.
But no, I couldn’t be. These thoughts surely were only due to the distinct lack of boys at our school. I definitely wasn’t gay. So what the fuck was I on about.
**PUSH IT DOWN**
Lunchtime chatter about sneaky weekend sips of alcohol and experimenting with boys – I had nothing to add. Where were they even finding boys? I berated myself at 15, 16 and throughout the spring term of 17 for never having been kissed. (Yes it finally happened that summer.) What the fuck was wrong with me?
**Self loathe. Self loathe. Self loathe**
Hating myself on multiple fronts, the war was waged.
The truth was I had my first kiss at 14… with a girl. At a slumber party in Sarah’s parent’s garage I chose dare. But it was more important to me that I not be “disgusting” than it was I have any sexual currency. Blocking out one to bolster the other.
I couldn’t tell you if this brief match of tonsil hockey ranks on her list of legitimate sexual encounters. Likely to her it was just a wild pubescent dare. Yet to me, and here’s the problem, it meant something. It satisfied a persistent and stubborn yearning. But this was 2006. Our Catholic school didn’t even teach that homosexuality was anything less than a sin let alone that bisexuality was a legitimate possibility.
And so I waded through hetero spaces, seemingly a beautiful feminine girl, yet never revealing the constant struggle to snuff out the relentless bubbling of masc energy.
** Shove it down! SHOVE IT DOWN! sHoVe iT dOwN!**
With food? Don’t mind if I do. It’s no wonder I developed bulimia and anorexia simultaneously. Bulimia helped me shove down my hated queerness refusing to fuck off. And anorexia gave me some semblance of control.
Cut to random smooches on the sticky floors of Dublin night clubs. More dares. Boyfriend titillation. Straight girl experimentation. There I was again kidding myself that it meant nothing.
How about the random girl who kissed my nervous face as I gazed at her from the femme confines of my bodycon dress and heels. No that meant something. She understood and though it was partially another round of “my boyfriend thinks it’s hot”, I did finally enjoy the tenderness of the sinful queer kiss from someone for whom it meant something (too).
Masc energy splashed to the surface in a dick-measuring game of “feel my abs” when the cross looking Belgian boy, unbeknownst to me her boyfriend, said sure. I’ve never seen so many stars as when he punched me in the gut that morning. Saved from Houdini’s fate by my barely-not-a-teen-abs, I collapsed in tears. The only silver lining was the babying I got from her. But still. He hit me right where it hurts. Literally and figuratively. He drove his fist exactly against the cavernous void in which I buried my queerness. The Christ tomb I sealed with food. Yet this would not be my Easter.
I didn’t kiss another girl for four years. Not until coming out – something done within the straight-washed margins of a hetero relationship – another point of self-deprecation. Only then did I test the waters tepidly with all the fear in the world of a closet sinner. Again, only when I slowly rebuilt in self-love was I able to heal the disordered eater in my mind. The hated queer child within me holding hands with Ed. My very first toxic relationship.
Maybe I just need to do molly and go to a lesbian bar? Thoughts? Maybe I just need to get the fuck over it and stop holding myself back with all this woe is me bullshit – stop playing the goddamn victim.
But then I remember the train ride while campaigning for Irish marriage equality when two patient queer girls walked me through bisexuality. A feeling I can only akin to when I first took Ritalin as a depressive anxious ADHD child and could finally be in the world. I was home. I finally knew me. I felt so much joy. I came out to my parents and the world (queue Facebook) with immediate effect.
Yet five years on, I sit here writing this very thing you read (gosh you must be patient) as well sitting in would it be bygone, yet latent feelings of shame. No longer for the queerness itself, set still to do. I get it. I’m bi. Queer. Not straight. Bisexual yet heteroamorous. (Cheers Dan Savage!) But ashamed all the same. Now for measuring up. I’ve only had sex with one woman. As with all my life I set unrealistic standards. Here it is again in my ability to somehow erase all the trauma of my closeted years and expect myself to simply get on with it.
Yet when self-identified “mostly straight” friends indulge on a whim in that which I punished myself for years for even entertaining the smallest thought of. It hurts. Deep within. Manifesting in FOMO, jealousy and “oh the unfairness of it all.” But they are just having fun. Enjoying drunkenly and without personal consequence the experimentation I yearned for as a teen, a tween, a young adult and now.
My only instance of queer sex itself a one night stand. In that regard not so different from my friends. Yet their path to pussy unencumbered by years of loathing. Simply fun. Not their favorite. Might do again if drunk?
And yet here I am.
Still I yearn.