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COOKIES & PRIVACY POLICY

The Rubbish Lesbian: Shock and phwoar?

Who DOESN'T get a little buzz from shocking the parents now and then?

Sarah Westwood

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 10:53:38 GMT | Updated 2 years today

I have to confess that I get a little buzz from shocking my parents. It's the ultimate adrenaline rush. Some people like to bungee, others have sex in public places, but I like to know I've still got what it takes to shock my parents to make me feel alive.The trouble is that since coming out to them I haven't been able to shock them. I have literally shot my shock load.

When I first told my parents about my girlfriend they were a little shocked. Fair enough I suppose since until that point I'd only ever bought boyfriends home. People just assumed I was too independent to settle down with any of them. It turned out I was actually too gay to settle down with any of them.

The fact that it came as a shock at all was itself the most shocking thing, because my girlfriend and I had been living on top of each other in very close quarters for some time before I came out. My big reveal went something like this, "You know my friend? Yes the one who's been sharing my bed for the last three years, because my sofa is very hard and osteopath bills would have been crippling, well she's actually my girlfriend." They were proud of me altruistically helping out a friend in need, so it was a bigger shock to hear it had been for my own selfish gain.

Nothing I've done since has come close to shocking them. I dyed my hair pink and didn't get so much as a raised eyebrow. I dropped the c-word into conversation with my mum while she was removing the snails from her hostas and she didn't even flinch. Even my tattoo paled into insignificance compared with telling them I was a lesbian. I've lost my ability to shock. I've basically inoculated my parents against shock, and they are now immune to it.

That said, I've recently discovered that I still have one card up my sleeve. I've noticed that if I comment on attractive blokes, even a casual "He's gorgeous", I see their faces register their surprise and the merest flash of hope simultaneously. They've put a lot of work into accepting that I'm gay, and they've even come to appreciate the way that my life is different to my sister's. So now they're afraid it might all change. They react to my throwaway comments as if I'm a dyed-in-the-wool vegetarian whose lip is now clamped onto a steak sandwich.

It might be a surprise to them, but in truth my admiring comments are no cause for shock waves. I'm a lesbian, but I'm not blind. I'm happy to see a pair of ripped obliques on anyone just to know they exist, because my own have always been somewhat invisible. I'm not sexually attracted to men, but that doesn't stop me acknowledging a good body when I see one. It's possible to appreciate the aesthetic without actually wanting one yourself. I feel the same way about capes.

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