'We've called her Stephen
That I really can't see
Why we shouldn't go on'
This sounds like a snippet of nonsense verse, or a children's nursery rhyme. It's got a nice ring to it, and could have been penned by the likes of Edward Lear. However, it actually comes from one of the 20th century's most groundbreaking, seminal, glorious novelistic explorations into the human condition: 'The Well of Loneliness' by Radclyffe Hall.
I may be gay in the sense that I'm happy and full of vim, and I may be queer in the sense that I'm just a little bit odd, but I am not homosexual. Despite my own mother, on seeing my newly cropped barnet, declares 'My, you do look rather like... well... a boy, don't you?' Thank you, Mother.
Of course I don't take any issue with homosexuality. In fact 'some of my best friends are gay...yada yada'. I'm even sleeping in the bed of one of these friends. Alas, he's not here with me... but still.
Carrying half the Homosexuality Lit Crit section of the library around Bloomsbury probably doesn't help with any suspicions, displayed with the titles evident to the world due to my bag already being crammed with the Romantics and Shakespeare. And the other day I did catch myself sitting in a coffee shop openly reading a paperback entitled 'Lesbian Feminist Fiction', the conspicuous cover in full view. This particular work was produced by the Radical Feminist and Lesbian Publishers. Which I think is fabulous!
(I also learnt from one of the short stories in this book that a woman is worth seven cups of tea. Make of this what you will.)
I may love Coco Chanel's outfit to the fancy dress ball, with its nod to cross-dressing, but that's about as far as it goes. And I'm too plain scrawny to pull off butch. And, frankly, my future husband Jeremy Northam/Greg Wise/Gael Garcia Bernal, whom I shall scandalously leave for Carlos Acosta (naturally), is the target of my Eros-arrowed affections.