This is an idea that has been rattling around my brain on and off for a good three months now. I have constructed witty and scathing versions whilst showering, only to have forgotten them by the time i’ve put some pants on. I’ve argued eloquently on bus journeys and ah, forgotten it all again in the walk up to my flat; and so what better time to finally put finger to keyboard and write about his, during the long dark Sunday of Christmas.¹
The thing is, Christmas is a time to spend with your family, and therefore for lots of queers² a time to spend having endless arguments about whether or not it matters to anyone else who you like to touch bits with; or not, as the case may be.
This obviously can be quite upsetting, (I am lucky that my family couldn’t give a flying toss what I do with my clothes off), and often leads to the much hated idiom “it’s just a phase”. I can’t think of anything else which engenders quite so much hate in the general LGBTQI&etc&etc³ except maybe perhaps the term “bicurious”.
The often bizzarre estrangement of the bisexual is another argument for another day though.
The thing is, phases elsewhere in life are just that. You’re perfectly allowed to have that phase in your early teens where you thought that Madonna was the greatest thing since sliced bread, or where you dressed all in black and spoke in monosyllables. You have questionable haircuts and items of clothing that everyone around you secretly wants to bin. You have bad boyfriends and good girlfriends, you sleep with inappropriate people or you don’t. It’s a phase.
And yet it still seems largely frowned upon to experiment with your sexuality as well as sexually. The eternal argument for the homophobic of “you’ve never tried it” is true. Surely we should applaud anyone comfortable enough with themselves and their own body to try out anything and everything they think might make them feel good? Within reason obviously and with the usual caveats of safe and consensual experimentation.
I realise the problem here is in being recognised as having made a decision and not having to fight the idea that it’s a phase. Ask your average queer and they’d be fine and dandy with people trying new things out, so perhaps it’s the phrasing. “It’s just a phase”.
But then maybe it all is. It’s just that some people are having a much longer phase than others. Like when you finally settle on what you like to do, wear, listen to, eat etc and that is largely how it stays until you kick the bucket.
It’s all just a phase.
¹ If Sunday’s are the long dark tea time of the soul then Christmas holidays are the extended Sunday of the annual week. A long period of doing sunday type things, like seeing relatives, eating too much, going for walks, being bored and the shops being shut.
² I use queer here as an umbrella term, I know some people dislike it but I like the idea of it.
³ Facetiousness is a terrible vice I know, but seemingly every time I check the acronym has gained a new letter to make sure every spectrum is represented, as though we might forget our trans or intersex bretheren because they aren’t in handy capital letter form. So sue me. (please don’t).