INTERVIEWER: Did you ever date a man?
I dated men. I didn’t sexually want to be with men. I didn’t find them… I mean, sexually I just didn’t find them at all… I dated them because I thought they were really, you know, talking about football. The first bloke I actually dated, I was 14, and the reason I thought it was going to be the best thing was he loved football. And he said ‘what I like to do is, I like to go to a football ground every weekend of the season-‘ and we were in the season ‘I like to go to a football ground every week to see a football match’. And I thought ‘God, this is going to be fucking great, it’s going to be great’. And I just had visions of going to this fantastic football match, and he turned out to be… of course, I had to wear the clothes because it was a date, and that was really… anyway, we ended up at Crewe Alexandra. Now, I don’t know if you like football. Do you like football?
INTERVIEWER: I like it, but I’m –
In that time, when I was 14, so it was a long time ago, in the ’70s. The worst team, and they used to have four divisions. The worst team was Crewe Alexandra. So I meet him at Preston Railway Station and I said ‘where are we going?’ ‘Crewe Alexandra’. And it was a freezing cold day, and I remember thinking ‘oh, this can’t be happening’. I was a big Liverpool fan and Preston North End fan. It was like ‘what the fuck?’ I end up in a field dressed like a girl, right, in a bloody skirt and whatever. I was absolutely frozen, and we end up in this field of a football pitch. The game, I don’t even know what had happened in the game. I just remember thinking ‘this is just crap’. But you know, it’s a football game, so you get through the football game. Then on the train going back, he wanted to kiss me, and I remember thinking ‘well you can f-‘… I didn’t swear then, but I remember being really like… I actually felt imprisoned, I thought ‘I can’t get away from him. I’m going to have to sit here’. And I remember this couple sitting opposite us, and he put his arm around me, and I’m thinking ‘oh, this is the worst thing out’. And when we got back to Preston… I hated every moment of it. We get back to Preston, and then I have to get a bus back to… and then he says ‘see you then’, and I said ‘no, I don’t want to see you anymore, thank you very much’. And it was like…
INTERVIEWER: Lousy date.
That was it. That was the first date. And I remember the smell, he wore this Gabardine.. And I think smells are really interesting. And he wore, like this Gabardine, navy blue, Gabardine rain mac. And I remember the smell of it, and I thought ‘oh, I can’t stand the smell of this, can’t stand the smell of it at all’. And I didn’t like him being anywhere near for. Not for sex and kissing… well for kissing then it would have been. And none of the men, I didn’t want that from any of the guys that I dated. I didn’t want any of it. And I remember thinking ‘this is definitely, something’s definitely a bit odd about me in this. I can’t stand you…’ Like, I want to go out and talk about this and talk about that. And I loved being with men, right. See, it was very difficult, because they obviously wanted you to be with them for reason, and I actually wanted to be with them for a completely different reason. Only I hadn’t worked out that well actually, then. Even as I got older, it was like ‘aw, I didn’t want any…’ I remember this guy, I felt really… even now, I feel bad about it. We used to go… he’s another lad I dated. I dated quite a few blokes actually, but we never went very far. And he was a nice guy. He went to… on a Saturday night we used to go Stonyhurst College. And used to be, like… somebody used to drive us up there. And this guy said, you know, ‘can I meet you?’, you know. And I was like ‘yeah, that’s fine’. So, I think we met a couple of times and then he wanted… I don’t know… he wanted me to meet his mum and dad, and thought ‘uh, obviously I’m giving off the wrong message here’. And I hadn’t been at all affectionate with him. And anyway, I wrote… I just dumped him, I just thought… I don’t know whether he wanted me to… I just didn’t turn up for something, I don’t know what it was. I had no thought really about him at all. I just thought… other than ‘can’t be bothered’. And he wrote me a letter saying I was very selfish and very inconsiderate, and how dare I do this? And why would I do that to somebody like him? I remember reading this letter thinking, absolutely don’t care. I don’t care, not bothered at all. And I remember thinking, as I’ve got older, whether it was a pathological actually. Because it was almost like, I just have no feelings for you. I can’t get it across any plainer than that, I don’t have any feelings for you. So see, that’s where it became complicated about sexuality. Because with men, I didn’t have any feelings for them. So naturally, you’d think, oh well, I obviously feel… like with women, it was much more like, this is more… I can have a better time talking to them and being with them, but I would still want to be able to be who I was and in a different way, probably a bit more genderqueer, if I’d have got that language then. I mean, it would be… and be non-binary… I’m not sure about those words, but genderqueer-ish in a different way, in a different era. But yeah, that was the first date, Gabardine… his name was Paul I think, or something. Terrible. And that’s how it went. I mean, I dated quite a few guys along the way. Well, they dated me. And I think that they were terribly disappointed. It was just a complete and utter… I was only interested in, ‘are we going to the football?’ And I remember shuddering those, like, I knew at some point they’d probably want to have some sort of… I don’t know, all that horribleness. Because I didn’t quite…