At the weekend I went out. I went to the local park. I went out as myself, with people like me… dressed in my rainoiw peacock printed dress and a faux fur coat.
I left my house that afternoon, saying goodbye to my husband and children. I felt no fear as he joked about me going out on the pull for a wife.
I went somewhere I should have felt completely safe, free to be myself. I went with a friend who is similar, looks straight so everyone assumes he is. He’s not, he’s bisexual too – one of us “hidden queers”. It’s not a phase, it’s not a joke, it’s us being honest – we know that we are different.
But as I walked into the park I hesitated… I felt fear. I got a thought in my head I couldn’t shake – terrorists are coming for our flag. There we all are huddled around the same place, listening to camp music, watching drag acts and giggling at comedy on stage. I kept thinking about it being any easy target, and left earlier than I usually would because of this feeling. I had no idea what was actually about to happen or where, just a strong feeling of hate crime on the horizon.
This is not the first time I have had strong fears or feelings about the future. Mum jokes I must be “part gypsy” with my premonitions. I don’t like that word though, premonition, psychic, and all those type of words make me think of scammer clairvoyants on telly.
That’s not me, I can’t see the future when it suits me. In fact it can be a pain in the arse as people think that you’ve flipped. I knew that my grandfather had been given terminal news years ago, and made Blokey drive me a few hundred miles to his house. I knew that this wasn’t a conversation for the phone. Walking towards the front door my Nan ran out and said “how did you know?” I hug her and just say “how long have we got?” and then she and Grandad tell me it’s a vicious cancer so “not long”. Before turning up I didn’t even know he was being tested for anything – but I sensed the news. I’ve unfortunately sensed the death of close people at the moment it happened even though I wasn’t there – phone calls later confirmed my senses and that I fell to the ground in hysterical tears the exact moment my Nan died.
I don’t want to know bad times before they happen, but what I’ve “felt” often happens soon afterwards.
I wanted the weekends feeling of fear, of being attacked, to be wrong. But the next morning I woke up to news on the radio that “a terrorist has gone into a gay club and killed or injured at least 50 people” I pinched myself… did I really hear that? Oh bugger.
In that few minutes I felt a ridiculous scale of emotion, from wanting to hurt the homophobic people behind this, to pity and disgust, then sympathy and love towards “my kind”. Those people who went out to Pulse that night were like me, like the people in the park just hours earlier. They were killed, shot and held hostage just for belonging under the rainbow flag.
I took it deeply personally. I took it badly. I cried. It’s been years since I was afraid to be myself. Being bisexual Doesn’t mean I don’t love my Husband – far from it – I chose him from a bigger choice of lovers than most people pick from. I’m like 80% gay, only 20% of men are the slightest bit hot to me. I choose LOVE – but if I had fallen in love with a woman again… society still feels judgey about that. LGBT has come along way since I was beaten as a teenager for being a Dyke, I’m not willing to go back to hiding a large part of myself.
Saturday afternoon at Pride I felt a bit vulnerable, a little bit freaked out. By Sunday I felt like a target. I didn’t personally know those people that were attacked, but they were my people. The biggest murdering of gays since the Holocaust I am told.
Straight friends don’t seem to understand the emotional outcry this has caused for my fellow gays, but I can tell you that I am not alone in taking it personally. I’ve been in a few periscope chats by the Qommunity team, getting my feelings out. Allowing me to use some pretty vile and angry language to “let it all out” – so thanks guys.
This weekend I’m also going to a vigil – I am going to stand there in an act of respect. I’m going to stubbornly refuse to be judged by nutters with guns, bombs or knives.
I’m going to stand there and be me. Love me as I am or not at all.