Yesterday I read a blog by Tom Webb on Chicks & Dicks about the realities of Gay for You, a popular trope among M/M authors. He described the pitfalls of being pursued by a straight man, and the fact that much of heartache and head searching is glossed over in books.
I have whined about this to Tom on many occasions because while I have so many books that cover GFY I get frustrated at the lack of angst that goes with the hero's sudden conversion to dick. Okay, that was what he said, so I'm not going to rehash old ground.
I'm not so keen on a lot of personal details about me but this is one area in which I have some personal experience so bear with me. You could say this is the opposite head space to Tom's.
I am straight, mainly and yet I spent a couple of years in a relationship with a lovely woman. Not as a teenager, or in my twenties, but once I reached forty. Now, I know a lot of people who are theoretically bi, in which they have acknowledged their attraction to the same gender but never actually done anything about it. I was the opposite. Happily straight and never really considered being any other way. I think there were 2 other women I ever considered taking to bed, but it was more of a drunken fantasy and never going to happen. They were of a type, and close friends.
Without going into all the details, I began a relationship with a woman. I didn't hide it per se, but I was careful whom I told. On the whole people were great, a little curious, but couldn't care less. A couple were actively homophobic but to give them credit stayed friends with me. But the worst thing was losing my identity to the world. It's like losing your job; suddenly you are no longer who you were perceived to be.
Sue Brown, mother, wife/partner, 'normal'. Hah! Normal. Now I was Sue Brown, gay, Gay, GAY!
The women thought I was attracted to them. Er, no. Did I mention I have a type? And if I mentioned an attractive man, that wasn't allowed because I was a lesbian. Er, no again.
The worst problem was in my head. The world perceived me as one thing. I saw myself as something else. The two didn't mesh. My poor lady had a lot to put up with. I never did thank her enough.
Nothing Ever Happens pretty much documents the head space I was in for a long time. The book covers nearly a decade and still Nathan struggles to accept his identity as a gay man.
A few years on I have worked my way through the angst, kind of. For those of you secure in your sexual identity, I envy you. I wish I'd come to accept my sexuality as a young woman, and not a middle-aged wrinkly. I have no issue with being in another relationship with a woman in the future, but the loss of my self-identity is harder to deal with. I'll get there eventually,