posted by Lyle.
Following on from the post I wrote about Issue and children, I’ve been thinking about a couple of other things – mainly about the pigeon-holing that people do, and how we perceive people.
All through my life, people have assumed I’m gay – not necessarily through actions, or stereotypical appearance, just an assumption. Yes, I can camp it up with the best of them, I’ve had the relationships, and the conflicts, and all the rest of the in-between stuff – but the simple fact is, I’ve never had to come out, purely because everyone’s assumed it anyway. And I’m not gay – I’ve always identified myself as bi, which has it’s own pros and cons. Mainly cons, actually.
Bi is another pigeon-hole. Along with a whole range of others – if there’s one thing humanity is really bloody good at, then pigeon-holing is it. To some it equates with “undecided”, to others it’s “keeping options open”, or “refusing to commit to one or the other”. I’ve even been accused of sitting on the fence before, of not making the decisions, Fact is, the decision was made, it was the truth – maybe it still is – and it was made harder by both gay and straight worlds. Not that I resent it one little bit – but let’s not go overboard on the entire equality thing, OK?
Eight years ago now, Peter, my partner of the time, committed suicide. Somewhere along the line, he’d picked up HIV, and couldn’t face a future with those letters attached to it. He couldn’t accept the assumptions that were made, that would be made about him because of them. Somehow, I didn’t get infected – that’s sod’s law. In many ways I’ve grieved that piece of “luck”, I’ve wished things could be different, the situations reversed, or at least shared. I’ve resented him, and still think it was a bullsh*t way out, a coward’s excuse. But still he died, and that was something that – without being Mills and Boon about it – destroyed a large part of me. I haven’t been with a man since – I haven’t wanted to. That’s not an assumption, I’ve tried, I’ve considered it, and it no longer holds any appeal at all.
And now we come to the present day. After eight years of only being with one sex, can I truly consider myself to be bi? Is it, perhaps, time to come out as being straight – or should I bide my time more, let other people live with their assumptions, keep my own little pigeon-hole well appointed and with some wide open space outside it? Is it time for the changing of the perceptions?
I don’t know why this guest-blogging stint has been making me think about this kind of thing again – but I’m glad it has. Part of it, I suppose, is the idea of being in a new forum, a different place – there’s a sense of remove, that while I’m obviously still linked to d4d™, I’m not at d4d™. There’s a difference in there somewhere, although I’ll be damned if I know exactly what it is.
What does the future hold? I have no idea. All I know is that the more I can play with assumptions, the more I can mess with the pigeonholes, the happier I will be. I don’t want to fit in with other people’s perceptions, and if (as posted below) I were to end up with children, I wouldn’t want them to have assumptions made about them, even by their parents.