I kissed #70 and #71 and #72 in quick succession, and then finished up the night making out with #63. I knew #71 from the LGBT society at uni. He had cats’ eye contact lenses that night, and had painted his nails in rainbow colours for Pride, which I think took him two hours. It looked pretty impressive.
Remember when the whole rainbow thing was kind of exciting? It was to me, anyway. After I came out, I was given a badge that depicted a door opening and a rainbow behind it. I had a rainbow ribbon on my bag. I had a black dress with a rainbow stripe across the front. #56 had given me her freedom rings a year before we first kissed. And at the previous year’s Pride, a bunch of us had dyed our hair different colours, for the rainbow effect, although since my hair was usually green and I hadn’t dyed it for a little while, mine was more faded than everybody else’s.
Back in those days, back when I first became part of the LGBT Community™, I was happy to discover that we had this special signifier, a way to demonstrate where I belonged. I guess it’s like labels – it would be nice to live a label-free existence, to not need words to explain what group you fit into, but at times I really appreciated them. I feel that ‘bisexual’ is not a sufficient descriptor for me, but it’s what most people understand, and it’ll do for when I’m not keen to go into great personal detail, or when I’m called on to explain my reasons for being in a gay space. And when I was first coming out, having this word to cling on to felt like a relief. It was one way of understanding myself, and other people were liable to understand it too. And I immersed myself in the community and read everything I could get my hands on, so that I could know about the history and culture and politics, and wearing rainbow stuff or a black triangle made me feel like I was part of something, and being part of something is sometimes a relief too.
But nowadays the only time I really appreciate the whole rainbow thing is when I’m travelling – a rainbow flag outside a bar or a rainbow sticker in the window of a café helps me identify the queer scene quickly. Other than that, I am really done with all the rainbow merchandise and whatnot; it seems so unimaginative to plaster it all over everything. But also I think I’ve become all jaded and apathetic.