The first girl I kissed was an old friend of mine. This isn’t a story of secret passions hidden for years, lingering glances in the hallways at school, notes in history class or anything. It would be cool if I had some really hot story to share right about now, but actually here’s how it worked: I knew I had some stuff to think about, and I’d started describing myself as bi, but it remained on my to-do list to properly address it all, which I figured would happen right after I left Northern Ireland. That was the plan, and I stuck to it. I guess I found it safer that way.
Anyway, she was a platonic friend and it’s just a story of some boy chatting me up in the Limelight in Belfast. #20 was on the dance floor or at the bar or wherever. The boy wanted to kiss me and I told him I was taken. (Note: I would never use this terminology nowadays.) He said, “He’s not here, he won’t mind!” Keen to challenge his heterosexist assumptions, I retorted “She’s right here and she will mind!”, and dragged #23 over, hissing the story quickly in her ear.
“No,” he said, looking at us while we draped our arms round each other and attempted to look couply, “youse are not lesbians. If you’re lesbians then kiss.” So we did, and he actually gave up and went away not too long after that. Obviously, two girls kissing is not generally the smartest way to get rid of a straight boy; it was a pretty poor strategy. As time’s gone by, I’ve preferred a more honest approach in situations like these, rather than pretending to be a lesbian and furthering bi invisibility.
A year later, when I was coming out, I was a little worried in case #23 might feel weird about the fact that we’d kissed. Of course she didn’t. She was always an ally.