I just got back from having a slow Sunday lunch with another bi girl who’s a really good friend of mine. We sat outside on this rainy afternoon at the cafe that happens to be one of the major gay boy cruising spots in Gulberg and the only cafe open all night. And we chatted about the things that in our life that our mostly un-queer. Our lives, basically, as they are.
But we did mention queer things once in a while, and I think activism is something that is going to come late to us, whoever “us” is in this configuration. I say this because, for one thing, when I mentioned wanting to take a slightly more active role in queer community, such as it was, she just sort of smiled and nodded. And we made a joke about how there isn’t much going on, you see, in our lives, so one must come up with something to do.
And also I say this because the closet isn’t what it seems like. It isn’t really a closet. It’s not hiding. Not as such. It’s just that sex and love itself is so much in purdah that homosexuality can’t possibly gad about and demand visibility. Why would it? Why would that be anymore appropriate than me going into a shop and buying condoms for my own use, and me being single and fuckable and on the prowl? It’s not what we do.
I won’t say it ought to be because I’m not sure what ought to be. But I like to talk and the absence of the conversation gets to me. There are far too many men on the scene having their say and their say involves too much ass-fucking and oh honey you must try and khusri this and kanjri that. Not all gay boys are queens, but the queens rule the roost, of the entire queer scene, male, female, trans, whatever, and it’s repetitive and boring after a while.
But then here are two dykey bi chicks, sitting in a coffee shop on a rainy afternoon, talking literary talk and eyeing discretely whomever they eye, and then going home without making much noise, or any plans. She said to me once that closets are good sometimes, and I said yes, they are. Because they are, sometimes. But if you don’t come out of it ever, is it a closet anymore? Or is it just the place you live?
I know. That’s the like the tree and the woods and the sound and the falling. Very profound. But my point is this: I said, “I’ve been seeing a lot of lesbians around lately.” She said, “Really? One doesn’t usually. One usually sees gay people around.” I said, “Yeah, I know. But I have. Although now that I say it aloud, I don’t know who I mean.”
My best friend, who’s straight, asked me recently, after realizing that my gaydar was really quite good when it came to sussing out queer girls, which of our female acquaintances I thought might be gay. I rattled off a list of names and she was shocked and somewhat horrified at all the women I thought might be bi at least, including friends of hers that I don’t know very well. And it made her thoughtful.
But who will ever know? I mean, I’ve started telling people fairly openly that I like girls because I hate pointless secrets and I hate censoring myself, but with most women, who will ever know, including themselves, whether or not they’re queer? Some women don’t know where their clitorises are, for God’s sake, how would they know who they want to have touch them? And how are women supposed to find each other?
For three-ish hours, we sat and we sipped, and we talked. And it was a lovely time, don’t get me wrong. But I wonder about the refusal to talk about things. It seems remarkably Pakistani.