Girls And Boys And Tom Daley
So, Tom Daley likes boys. He becomes part of that illustrious pantheon of men who like other men, of which I am a member. He didn’t stick a label on himself, but simply said with disarming honesty and bravery that while he still fancies girls he’s in a relationship with a guy and he couldn’t be happier. Now there are many reasons I feel a kinship with Tom; our similar physiques, bone structure and physical grace not the least of them… There’s also the whole “losing your Dad to cancer at a grotesquely young age” thing, and now, there’s this.
You see the thing is, his explanation of his current romantic landscape is quite similar to my own. I like boys. But I also find girls attractive. These days I consider myself to be what I call a “non-practising bisexual” in that although I find girls attractive I don’t see myself ever doing anything about it and not a great deal has happened with them in the past in any case. (Daley has probably had more play with girls than I have.) I have hopes of finding a nice boy and settling down. But nevertheless I yield to no man in my appreciation of the female form and so technically classify as one of these here bisexuals we are all of a sudden, due to young master Daley’s recent disclosure, hearing so much about.
This may be a surprise to some who know me as to some people I’ve self-identified as gay. (Though certainly not to everyone; ask a certain two of my friends who have mocked me mercilessly for it for well over a decade…) I’ve done this mainly because “gay” is a much smaller word than “bisexual”. Perhaps also because explaining the subtle nuances of my feelings to people is frankly a ball-ache and gay is just easier.
I said above that I am a member of the Illustrious Pantheon of Homo’s. Sometimes it seems like bisexuals achieve this membership on sufferance. We make some gays uneasy. They tell us that either we’re greedy, scared, lazy, “bi now, gay later” or just plain can’t make up our minds. It seems that getting the shitty end of the socially-acceptable-sexuality stick for the last few thousand years has not softened even some gay attitudes to sexualities that are not simply dualistic. I had an ex who was utterly freaked out by the concept of me finding girls attractive even in a generalised sense and forbade me from mentioning it. We are mocked, with uneasy laughter, seemingly because we are like gays, yet not like gays. And though much of the mockery is in jest, it speaks to a deeper-seated uneasiness.
Here’s the thing: sexuality isn’t just a set of two boxes; girls or boys. It isn’t even a set of four boxes; girls, boys, both or neither (yes it’s an option). There are as many boxes as there are people, and nowhere is it written that you have to keep the same box forever. We try to pin down and taxonomise (yes it’s a word) sexualities like they were moths on a corkboard. In truth we would need a pin for each grain of dust on the wing of each of the moths we’ve nailed down. I fancy girls but I fall in love with boys. Other bisexuals may vary. We like willies and muscles, we like boobies and foofs (though I think Tolkien would have preferred fooves). Ultimately, the heart wants what it wants.