This morning I stumbled into a conversation that got me thinking about that three letter word. You know the one that everybody is intrigued to know about but always cautious to discuss publicly. What word are you thinking of? SEX is what I’m talking about and how society’s perception that one must conform to one gender or forever be known as a deviant or even worse a confused being.
Ever since I can remember I have adored women, from school teachers to neighbours and of course those oh so accessible celebrities. Obviously being a ten year old girl there was no such thing as lust, merely just a magical feeling of a majestic magnetic pull. The smell of a woman, the vision of her beautiful smile and the sense that with a woman you could never have an awkward silence. Of course I had many crushes on boys, usually older boys, my penchant would be for those with facial hair and tattoos. What enabled me to snare a boy of my choice was and has always been my ability to be “one of the lads”, after all I felt dee inside I was somewhat masculine, a tomboy I could play football, rugby and I could deliver a tombstone piledriver better than The Undertaker himself (I’m talking WWF Wrestling for those who wonder if I’ve lost the plot).
I had no problems finding a boyfriend, although for my boyfriends they faced the gauntlet of shame being paired with me. As I’ve confessed previously I was the target of lifelong bullying, the common theme was that I was “too ugly” and “a tramp” so I was regularly dumped for some other girl who had the latest “rockport” and “Charlie perfume” irrespective of whether they had a face Picasso would find inspiring and a set of teeth that could open beer bottles.
Romantic wise I did have quite a few successful relationships at what you could call an underage stage in my life, there was Jacko, Mark Spencer,Twins Milo and Layton(yes at the same time,) Daniel Hogan, his brother Peter And Lastly Danny. Out of them all Danny was the first love of my life. Despite being older than me, (and a ginger, not that I cared) we had a pretty intense relationship. I worshipped the ground he walked on. With my first ever wage I would spoil him rotten and spend many a romantic night holed up in his bedroom watching films, smoking weed (him not me) and drinking WKDs. Who said romance is dead.
Despite him cheating on me, we continued on, blissfully, until the voice inside me became to loud to resist. My secret was I knew I fancied other girls, It all came to head after falling ridiculously in love with a girl in my school year.
This girl was the typical popular girl, slim, short, Blonde hair , Blue eyes, she was fit and she knew it. In my mind it was a stroke of fate that we were paired together during our English GCSE project studying Romeo & Juliet of all things! From that moment Juliet & Juliet was all I could concentrate on. My world all of sudden turned sapphic, even more so when merseyside cult TV series, Brookside at the time had a lesbian love triangle with mother/daughter Lindsay Corkhill (Claire Sweeney) becomes a lesbian, as does her mother, who then steals her daughter’s girlfriend.
For me, watching this unfold made me excited and even more curious about how I would discover and experience this whole other world. Whilst myself and my female crush studied together I disclosed that I had feelings for her, not that this repulsed her, quite the opposite secretly allowing me to hold her hand under the table in the library and giving me her mobile number. Of course this all remained just our secret. One particular night I poured my heart out in a love letter and gave it to her the next day. Around two months later I walked into school to many not so unfamiliar dirty looks and whisperings “dyke” “Lezza” was the words of choice, I thought to myself just another day in the life of Louise , until I walked down the sloping ramp to the cafeteria and there is was in all it’s glory THAT LETTER.
Yes this beautiful girl I adored and had done nothing too had photocopied my love letter and plastered it around the school. Obviously she denied all responsibility, apparently the said letter had been found by her boyfriend whom thought it would be good fun to publicly out a girl who was already the victim of the playground bullies. So the taunts became the norm , dyke and rug muncher were scrawled on my books , not that I was bothered at the name calling, I was more livid because I took pride in my work books and the scruffy writing made me an angry girl.
After that I tried to avoid the object of my affections despite her doing her damnedest to make a show of me, asking me for a spare pen in front of the whole class, this type of attention drove me crazy. Around this time I started a pen pal friendship with a Danish lady called Helene Lunde who was older than me, and lived in Denmark.
We met via teletext (oh yes there was no match.com then) I wrote to her sent it via airmail then we started a snail mail friendship/courtship Helene was lovely, we had many similar passions, Savage Garden being one of them. During one particularly tough time in that period I recorded my thoughts and feelings on tape to send to Helene. I was at the time a victim of sexual abuse by a local businessman from the age of 13-15 and decided to disclose to a teacher, this then resulted in charges being brought and a court case at Minshull Street crown court followed.
After two weeks the verdict was not guilty on insufficient evidence. This for me was devastating not only did I presume I was being called a liar but I also lost both my loving grandparents in the space of eighteen months. I left school surprisingly with eight fairly ok GCSE’s under my belt.
A short two week stint at college followed but due to matters out of my control I had no choice but to seek employment and at the time the only thing available was making the beds and serving tea at the local nursing home. So I was fifteen working full time and finding my feet in the world.It was at this time I was then reunited with my ex boyfriend Danny after a short time apart.
My sixteenth birthday came and so did my first ever venture into the world of Manchester’s gay scene. Rightly or wrongly I knew that this would be the only time I would have to discover my true self. Dressed up like a member of 90’s Irish girl ‘bewitched’ head to toe in denim and long black hair matched with lustful eye make up I went to the only lesbian bar in the village at that time. Myself an day best friend Kerry strolled in like Kath N Kim to stares that could best be described as confusion and lust! Hilarious. So we managed to pass the ID challenge and ordered our VHF. Then at the corner of my eye I spotted a gorgeous but short girl with dark spiky hair.
Obviously being the shy girl I am, I subtly gave her a wink and the world famous “want a drink hand gesture” the rest of the night was spent talking with her , she was twenty two, a full time chef from Hyde. After a few drinks The moment I had waited for all my life had arrived, we kissed and in that moment I finally felt I had arrived, I found myself. Fireworks, butterflies, acceptance it all arrived in that one embrace. We exchanged numbers and I found myself at home that night lay in bed smiling like I had won the lottery. The next day I broke up with My boyfriend. It wasn’t easy but finding out he had been sleeping with his ex behind my back made the betrayal by myself much more acceptable. My romance with Marie lasted around four months, during which time I had left home and moved into a bedsit. I hadn’t fully slept with Marie so the way in which she cruelly dumped me was the kickstart of my ongoing depression. I spiralled into a world of drugs, sex and self harm. Sleeping with men was easy for me, it was a quick ego boost, they didn’t want me for my personality and not did I want them for anything other than a physical workout.
The first woman I ever slept with was worth waiting for , I met a single mother in a bar in Manchester, she was thirty so sexy and bisexual. After our physical relationship we became friends and she was and still remains one of the most beautiful women I have ever loved or known. My first long term relationship with a woman was explosive and poisonous, yet again she was older (she was twenty seven, I was seventeen) this relationship wasn’t good for either of us, she was troubled, I was needy. After being subject to emotional and domestic violence I broke up with her and left my home we shared and once more moved into a bedsit with nothing but my cat and a few belongings.
I guess I could sit here and write down every conquest and one night stand, but I’m aware that I have already faced some pretty harsh criticism for my honesty.
What I will say is that no matter who I have loved and been in a relationship with I loved them with all of my heart. Unfortunately for me it was always the older women that chased after me, many of these women that at times tore me apart not just mentally but financially. One of the hardest times in my life was in 2006 (I was twenty) when I was caught pregnant after a drunken liaison, whilst I had been on a break from my female partner (she was thirty seven ) .
The heartache that unfolded because of this situation has caused me irreparable damage. Having an abortion on December 24th 2006 will live with me forever. Thankfully my relationship with my ex partner at the time survived for a year afterwards but it was like the elephant in the room, after i went into town one night i was drunk and vulnerable , catching a taxi home on my own at 2am I was raped by a taxi driver who then Unbelievably took my money from the jeans he tore form me. After coming in covered in scratches my girlfriend accused me of sleeping around, I was too ashamed and in shock to tell her the truth. In January 2008 we sensibly but also heartbreakingly departed and are now five years later are respectful acquaintances.
Since I left home at the age of sixteen I have had six long term relationships, five with women ,one with a guy. During times of being single, I regularly dipped my toe in the waters of dating men but I couldn’t fall in love with any of these guys. Not because they were men but because we didn’t connect in the way I do with a woman.
For me love isn’t defined by ones private anatomy, I have always fallen in love and been attracted to a persons soul. For me that is what is so beautiful about love. It has no gender, no label, and no expectations.
If you are struggling with your thoughts and feelings about who you are attracted to trust me when I say follow your heart, ignore the bigots and hate and take the leap. Open your eyes, mind and heart, You never know you may just find your soul mate.
Sending Love as always,