Thursday, 16 July 2009


I am starting to write this at 1.46 local time having spent the evening drinking local French rosé wine (1€20 a litre from the wine cooperative down the road) with my sister (3l of said beverage has been drunk between us). I say that to explain why this blog is probably full of typos and non-sequiturs and drunken ramblings.

The evening and the conversation we had has made me think about and re-evaluate a few things.

For the first time in my life, at the age of 47, I uttered the phrase "yes, I am gay" to, and in the physical presence of, one of my siblings (I have 5 sisters and one brother).

It's not that I've ever lied about this rather important element of my life, or tried to hide it. The simple fact of the matter is that in our family, we don't talk about these kinds of things. Not about people we like nor about relationships nor about our deep-seated dreams and/or fears. Most of us will happily talk about these things to other people, but not to each other. We are, in short, a fucked-up family.

All my adult life I've assumed that my status as not-entirely-heterosexual was taken as read among my siblings. I've left enough clues through the years and said more than enough things that should leave them wondering. Through the years, several people outside my family have picked up "vibes" from me and asked me outright whether I'm other-than-straight, and I've never lied. And that's apart from circumstances in which people have known from the moment they met me for whatever reason.

From what my sister said to me during our drunken conversation, she is not aware that any of my other sisters suspect that I may be gay. This leaves me wondering whether I'm an idiot, or they are. Or alternatively, that conversations between my sisters go as I think they do, as I have most definitely outed myself to one of my brothers-in-law before (both of us were stone cold sober at the time, so forgetfulness doesn't come into it) and I'm open with another of my sisters about passers-by I find alluring.

Do most straight people REALLY find it that problematic that others in their midst might not be like them, that they need it spelled out?

Are streotypes in our society so entrenched that short of dressing in a skirt (of the non-kilt variety) or being as camp as Graham Norton, Alan Carr or their ilk, that being gay is just not a valid reasoning for most people? I've never talked about having a girlriend to any of my siblings, never presented a female as a potential girlfriend to any of my family, never talked about attractive
female celebrities (though VERY frequently about male ones) and what's more, I attended an all-boys boarding school.


I might be oddd, I might be shy, or I might be gay. There are no other explanations.

I don't dispute that I display one or more or these characteristics at any time, but people who know me very well (as my siblings should, and unlike our parents, they should at least consider some things as "normal" which an older generation didn't and I know that none of my sisters are even slightly hompophobic) really should be able to addd one and one and get two.

I had no problem coming out to my sister and I didn't feel the weight lifting that so many gay people before have mentioned about their conming out. My primary emotion is wondering, as staated above, which one of us is the idiot? My sister((s) for not making (to my mind) obvious assumptions I'd make about anyone else, or myself for expecting them to make these assumptions?

On a completely different level, and this perhaps comes under the "blowing your own trumpet" heading, I had a kind-of epiphany this evening about the kind of person I am, regardless of my sexuality.

I need to say that reason I'm here in the first place is that my sister is in deep financial and emotional doo-doo and effectively needs to sell her house (which was bought with the intention of being a retirement home) in order to survive financially and emotionally, and I've paid my own way to come here to help her prepare it for sale (it needs a lot of work). She is currently completely pissed on wine, and so am I. By some fluke, I had the presence of mind to put her to bed, wash up after dinner, clean up the mess we'd made, lock up the house and wash all the tools we'd been using prior to our break for a drink (which ended in a lot more), feed her cats and basically make sure we're all safe, secure and in a position to carry on normally in the morning as if it had been an ordinary evening.

What I'm trying to say is, I think, I'm a good person, and I have my wits around me.

So why the fuck doesn't anyone want me? Or even answer my calls?

Am I THAT fucking ugly?

P.S. There are different kinds of drunks: merry ones, maudlin ones, violent ones, incoherent ones, philosophical ones, sleepy ones, etc. Normally, I am a merry drunk who then becomes a sleepy drunk. So what's happened this evening that I've gone through maudlin and philosophical (and, arguably, incoherent) insteead?

1 comment:

  1. Hey ho drunken (or hungover) Plum. I hope this finds you cheerier of mood than you were at the time of posting. I can't leave a very long comment but hopefully we can chat later on tonight as a follow up. What wasn't clear from your entry was your sister's reaction beyond being surprised? I wouldn't be disappointed if I were you as I used to often overestimate people's ability to pay attention to things but then discovered a lack of absorbing everyday things is a very common trait, so much so it's the norm rather than the exception. I have also been in a situation where several gay people were convinced for quite some time that I had invented the fact I was gay simply for the benefit of winding them up so it's not a gay/straight thing either. To address your final point I think all I say is you were drunk and allowing the full force of self pity to come to the fore. There are many reasons why you don't find yourself in a relationship (if that's what you were driving at) and most of those are entirely out of your control. Find a minute to DM me on twitter or something so I can read that you're ok and you and your sister are ok?