"Straight Kate": My fag hag adventures

 Kate Spencer on how being the “hetero” mate in gay clubs helped her discover her bisexuality…


“I looked at my friend and thought, ‘Well, we can’t both be bi, that would be weird!'”

My best friend came out to me in the canteen at college. He told me he was bisexual and I practically screamed it back to him incredulously. He had to shush me and tell me to calm down. I told my mum and she said “It’s just a phase.” It turned out it was. He’s a fully-fledged homosexual these days.

Back then he needed support and a friend with whom he could go to gay nights at local clubs, in search of himself and more. I was that friend. With a sense of duty I nobly went to the only non-heterosexual event, a once-monthly event in the nearest town (rural living has never done much for anyone other than white, middle class marrieds). I was his first fag hag; he was my first queer boy who helped me tune my gaydar. I still assumed I was straight.

We looked forward to our monthly adventure together, our chance to cut some shapes on the dance floor and for him to be himself in a welcoming environment. We boogied and we grooved (am I showing my age yet?) and he went from boy to man in the toilets. I, the supportive friend, discovered the joys of fag haggery and have never looked back. (There’s something wrong in my life if I don’t have a gay man close at hand.) Eventually we became a well-known duo and created a little community who we looked forward to seeing.

For the most part, I loved it. I enjoyed my friend’s happiness, I devoured attention from the homo hunks who thought I was amazing, and I was safe in the knowledge that I wasn’t going to pull. I knew I was never going to get a snog because the boys liked boys and the girls liked the girls and I didn’t fit. I went so far as to write “Straight Kate” on a piece of A4 paper and pin it to my dress one night, thoroughly amused at my rhyming prowess. But I was getting the sneaking suspicion that I wasn’t quite what I thought I was. I’d had inklings before (see my post on “How I Knew”) but I’d buried them and when my best bud came out I thought “Well, we can’t both be bi, that would be weird…”

One night a mutual friend’s lesbian aunt came to the club, bringing with her one of her friends. I chatted to this pal of hers for the whole evening and I was struck by a barrage of feelings and sudden awareness. I fancied this woman. She was 10 years older than me, pretty with longish blonde hair, and she was sweet beyond belief. I flirted with her. I unashamedly told her I wasn’t gay but I flirted with her. I invited her to dance and we did, not holding each other or anything like that but there was electricity between us. I was turned on by the thought of kissing her. I realised then that I was bisexual. Men made me feel this way and now a woman had too. I was unnerved and a little taken aback by my previous lack of self-awareness. I told no one.


“I devoured attention from the homo hunks who thought I was amazing”

I’d invited my first real lady crush to visit me at my student digs. She didn’t live far away and I had wanted her to try my cooking (and then try me). Alas, it wasn’t to be. She didn’t need to deal with a confused 19-year-old and she didn’t respond to my texts. I had some fantastic masturbatory fodder thinking about her coming to my door (and more), and for a few weeks my “alone time” was sensational.

I eventually told my best friend, who at first accused me of jumping on the big gay bandwagon but later saw that I was serious, and now we’re closer than ever. He’s settled with his boyfriend (I introduced them) and I’m happy with mine. We don’t go out clubbing anymore, I’m past it these days, and I no longer call myself “Straight Kate”. That label just doesn’t cut it.


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A Jill of all trades, mistress of none, Kate has tried everything: prison psychology, volunteering with homeless people, teaching English abroad, and editing a magazine in China (thankfully not in Chinese!). A born procrastinator, she's been working on her autobiographical sex book for the past four years and has got nowhere. She's hoping to find some motivation on the open road - a born traveller she's hoping to leave for America very soon. Happiest performing her comedy poems at spoken word nights and getting inordinate amounts of attention, Kate is a whirlwind of a woman.

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