In My Dreams
Once upon a midnight, many weeks ago, I awoke from a dream that I actually remembered well enough to jot down in my journal. In my otherwordly slumber, I was very intimately entwined with another woman. I’d not had a dream quite like this since 2015 (yes, I remember that one quite vividly: she was very blonde. ). The difference was that this one - the lesser 2022 sequel - ended with me telling my husband in earnest that I am “30-50% gay.”
The being gay part isn't surprising. I noticed more than a decade ago that I was attracted to women. One woman in particular walked up to me to say hi at a show in Montreal, and I felt the most blatant stirrings of attraction. It stuck with me because I'm rarely attracted to anybody other than my supremely appealing husband. But I didn't read into it. More recently, I chatted with a friend about which women we find ourselves enamoured by, and my mind suddenly flooded with recognition: I've always crushed just as hard on women as men; maybe harder.
What I find most intriguing is the specific percentage-range that my dream-brain came up with. Why the need to quantify? Why bring math into this?!
When I was around 7, I recall cutting a full page photo out of the TV guide. I stared long and hard at this photo in my room. It was like a beacon of some kind; a pink silvery harbinger of my budding pre-pubescence. Staring back at me from the page was a beautiful pink-lipped brunette girl of about 16 years old, gently suggesting with her unnaturally wizened gaze that I keep her photo in my box of “Special Things” - photos and keepsakes that until then had only included bits and bobs from my humble life as a little kid in Kitchener, Ontario.
Indeed, one of my first crushes in the 80’s was a girl (tied with teeny tiny Jason Bateman), and the trend has continued unabated for decades. I longed to be one with certain girls at school. Caitlin and Spike were cuter than any of the boys at Degrassi (except BLT). I was equally attracted to Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet. I told myself I was into Mulder, but I probably had more of a thing for Scully.
My elementary school friend and I had a tent sleepover in her backyard, after which she told everyone at school that I was gay. Nothing happened during our campout except that we shed some clothes due to it being a hot summer’s night, but something tells me that this girl, Jennifer, was very into girls herself, and only realized it that night. She never spoke to me again despite us having been best friends. That hurt, and more importantly it hammered a point home: gayness (mine, hers, or the mere idea of it) had lost me a friendship.
As a teen, I found myself hanging out with several queer-identifying friends, none of whom knew each other, and none of whom had come out yet. I'll never forget what my friend Josh said to me on our walk home from work: ever so bluntly with zero context whatsoever: “You are gay.” “So are you,” I grinned. He smiled back. But I didn't believe him. I dated guys. I … must be straight, right? There were only two options. Bi- or pan- or whatever never occurred to me.
When my unabashedly effeminate friend Dave picked me up for an outing to Chapters for clearance books and chai lattes, my mom asked me how long I’d been dating him. She was oblivious, but in so many ways, so was I.
On the rare occassions that I’ve been propositioned by feminine and gender-neutral folks in more recent years, I've never happened to find them attractive. I've also always been pining after or in a relationship with a guy, slamming the proverbial door to any remote consideration of such possibilities. Then I fell in love with a Real Good Man, of course, and hit the romance jackpot.
Musing about all of this now, at age 40, a mother in a monogamous lifelong relationship, feels poignant because I have nothing to lose. I've only gained my own acceptance and admiration, which was surprisingly hard-won and worthy of celebration. Or, at least, a wink and a knowing smile.
"The Post-Modern Prometheus"!
I think the X Files is a queer-coded masterpiece!!!