For many years I was the gender-bending equivalent of the lead character in Jamie Babbitt’s fabulously campy, coming-of-age dyke flick “But I’m A Cheerleader” who naively assumes that all teenage girls go through a “phase” of decorating their lockers with pinups of bikini-clad babes in lieu of “Teen Beat” heartthrobs, a matter of style over sexuality. (Fantasizing about the cheerleading squad while kissing the football quarterback didn’t make a girl, like, a lesbian, right?) Likewise, growing up I just assumed all teenage girls anxiously awaited the latest “International Male” catalog in the hopes of finding that perfect belt to go with their oversize, Hanes men’s, V-neck Ts (this was the eighties after all and Cyndi Lauper, a hetero female, was one of the reigning queens of androgynous chic!) At one time didn’t every teen girl swoon over the muscles of her first crush – then go out and pump iron so she could acquire those biceps for herself? And didn’t every sensitive, new wave chick think Andy Bell and Jimmy Sommerville were speaking directly to her? At some point didn’t all those teenage girls who escaped to the Village to study theater secretly aspire to lip-synch onstage with the downtown drag queens (and unlike those drag queens, only to bands with male lead singers) – it’s just that I had the chutzpah to realize that dream? Didn’t every straight girl get choked up with emotion at the Gay Pride Parade? Wasn’t I just a strong woman lacking in any maternal instinct whose fantasy to become the sex slave of a bisexual male couple really wasn’t all that unusual?
And wasn’t denial just some body of water in a distant land, far, far away?