Blog Posts

Society says put your hands on your head

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Society, according to Wikipedia is ‘a group of people involved in persistent social interaction….. typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations.’

Society spends alot of time with their friend culture and together through interactions, they gather data on us and decide what the masses are doing. The masses are living the way they are due to a number of factors. Family history, beliefs (religion), education, politics, their peers, the friends down the pub. Book group. Zumba.  Everyone.

Society dictates the norm, builds stereotypes and shapes our behaviour. We are fed straight into this belief system from birth. Normal is established and sits in the background as an unconscious bias. Normal means what the masses are doing. The masses wear clothes in public places, queue up at the post office, pay their taxes, go on one decent holiday a year, recycle, vote and try not to be addicted to their mobile phones. The masses are right-handed, straight, get married, have children, have grand-children, lead a normal life. Right?

If you aren’t these things you are not normal. I am left-handed. This was my first little glimpse into being a minority. At school I’d be the last to sit down at the beginning of our music class at school as I had to find one of the only two left handed detachable book rests, in a sea of right-handed ones.

Next there is choosing not to have children and how society dictates we aren’t complete without them. People tilt their head when they discover we don’t have them, assume we wanted them, feel sorry for us, while they try and survive on 2 hours sleep a night and food/vomit/unmentionables stuck in their hair/car/everywhere.  And please don’t get me started on the phase ’empty-nester’. Really?

Ever since I realised I was gay, joining 2.5% of the population in the UK (10% of the population of Brighton), I have kept thinking about when I was younger, growing up. If society had told me I could end up with a boyfriend OR a girlfriend, a husband OR a wife,  would I have found my true self sooner? It makes for interesting food for thought.

The great thing though is normal is changing. I am hearing more and more that kids at school now really do discuss both options. Going out with a girl or a boy is on the cards. Either one is ok and that is 100% ok by me.

 

 

 

The young years

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I had a fun happy childhood. I relished the outdoors, for the fun and adventure. Out on my bike with the neighbour’s kids (boys on both sides) we explored the woods, rode our bikes too fast, crawled around in the dirt with plastic toy soldiers, or kicked a football about and talked about sports, tv and how cool Evil Knievel was.

Looking back I was far more interested in Nancy Drew than the Hardy Boys, but it was because she was the best character. She was the smartest and I wanted to be like her a smart girl that wasn’t interested in dolls and a weak female disposition. She was as good as the boys.

I disliked female weakness of any sort and I hated the dolls, prams, dolls in prams, cats in prams, anything in a chuffing pram! I wanted my eagle-eye action man, my blue plastic wheelbarrow and my football.

I remember often getting mistaken for a boy which I hated. I couldn’t blame anyone, since that is how I dressed, but I would immediately go bright red. I wanted to be a girl.  I wanted to be me.

Junior and Middle school for me was filled with sports. I would get to school early to play tag with my friends (all girls) and we always wore our PE kits under our uniform and we’d be ready to play sports in 5 seconds flat. Other classmates hated sports and held us up taking an age to get ready. Moaning throughout the process. They frustrated me. Why didn’t they like sports?

I was on the hockey and netball teams and I participated in a lot of Athletics.

Birthday parties always filled me with dread as it meant wearing a dress. I hated it and there exists somewhere a handful of photos of me standing in the front garden with my bottom lip out casting a shadow large enough to park a small car. As soon as the party was over, I was straight back in my jeans and often took a change of clothes so I could change in the car on the way home.

All my friends at school were sporty girls that could look after themselves. The girly girls into make-up and fashion held no interest and I am sure the feeling was mutual.

I was a Brownie, but I never really felt a sense of belonging. Years later after a brief dalliance as a Girl Guide I joined the Venture Scouts. Much more by bag.

My tom-boy phase continued into secondary school along with the sporty side. More hockey, more netball. More athletics

Looking back I think you could have a hint of where my sexuality was heading, but that was not something I would discover for another 20 years.

In the beginning there was the end

IMG_0559This is a blog about change. From realisation to turning a corner and striding in another direction towards a new adventure. It’s about being the truest most authentic version of yourself. And being ok with it and hoping everyone else will be ok with it too.

To start at the beginning we first need to mention the end. Or at least the end of the current chapter and the beginning of the new one. On Saturday I married the love of my life. Yes, it’s that ‘and dear reader I married her’ moment. That ‘skip to the end’ tale. She is everything I wanted her to be and she makes me be the best me.

This blog is about her being a woman and me being a woman too and how I went from a question in my own head one winter morning as I walked to the train station to standing in front of all my family and friends and declaring how much I love this woman and want to spend the rest of my life with her.

It’s about leaving my hetrosexual life (my ‘het’ life), hence the name ‘ex-het-ra’.

I want to share my stories and hope it may help gay women coming out (especially those late to the party like me). I’d love straight people to read it too. I want to fill the gap between the lesbian stereotype and the real us.

I want to share my journey into the gay world and I also want to start a conversation about what it’s like being a gay woman at the moment. How society, films, music, friends, colleagues treat us. Good, bad and ugly. I won’t change it for the world.

Dip in and out of the stories or read all of them, I hope you find it interesting, inspiring, funny (in parts), telling the story of the straight girl who realised there was a more authentic life to be lived.