Its strange how many years it takes to realise some very basic stuff about yourself.
Last night i was out at a club. Hmmm. It was a club, in the words of the immortally funny Robin Williams, for “ladies in comfortable shoes”. Oh dear: readers of a sensitive disposition, and easily embarrassed by the L-word, should avert their eyes now. It was a club for lesbians or, more prosaically, for those women who enjoy the company of other women.
My contribution to the evening’s merriment was to offer my services as amateur masseuse. The latter is a sometime hobby – maybe a skill i will now take the time to get properly qualified in – and definitely an activity i look forward to providing again.
The atmosphere was a tad racier than the average WI meet..yet also, strangely safe, in a way i have never experienced in a mixed setting. The highlight for me was sitting down, at about 2 in the morning, and just chatting. No pressure to be anything, do anything, score any points…It was easy, in a way i have found few things in life to be easy.
Today i thought about other environments i have tried to fit into. School, for one, where i never belonged to the rampantly heterosexual, all boys sporty cliques – but didn’t belong, either, to the camper, queerer drama sets. Even then, i was betwixt and between.
Work, where i have always felt ill at ease with maleness, laddishness, all-boys-together after work boozing and socialising.
I thought about the mums at my daughter’s first school: how i would have loved to chat, to get on; just to be accepted. Contrariwise, i thought about the mums at the boy’s school today: i’m not “one of them”…but i feel welcome in a way i never have before. Thank you so much.
Too, i thought of a recent moment at our neighbour’s. As always, boys and girls divided: the blokes stood round discussing air rifles, fishing, sport; and i sat quietly with the women. Just…happy.
I feel at home for maybe the first time in my life. No longer “a slightly feminine bloke who gets on with women”: but one of the crowd. That, for now, is more than enough.
To anyone there last night, thank you: thank you again. You make me cry. Tears of sadness, at not having found this sooner.
And tears of happiness at feeling, finally, home.