When I was little I knew that my Great Aunty Anne was gay, I think we all did but for some reason it was never spoken of. I used to ask her (A LOT) if she would ever get a boyfriend or get married knowing full well that she’d dodge the answers but I just wanted her to tell me the truth and I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t come out with it?
She came everywhere with her friend Morgan and I’m pretty sure they lived together but yet still, Morgan was only ever referred to as Anne’s friend and it fascinated me that they were pretending – I totally didn’t get why but still at the same time sort of did. I knew they were gay. They knew I knew! My whole family knew so presumably none of them had much of a problem with it but it was never actually verbalised; even though nobody actually minded it still got brushed over. Bonkers!
I rather liked my Great Aunt and I also liked her friend. What a shame that just twenty five years ago they felt they couldn’t declare their love publicly for what it was. My step mum told me that at one point she asked my Grandmother about it who admitted Anne was a lesbian but asked her not to tell the boys – I assume she meant her sons. How bizarre?
Anyway, it’s twenty five years later now and I’m so pleased that things are different today. At the weekend my cousin, who is also gay, married her childhood sweetheart and the whole family went to celebrate. I don’t think anyone, even my Grandmother who’s been so intent on keeping her sister’s sexuality a secret, was bothered one bit that there were two brides. We all just felt excited to be part of their special day as we would any other wedding. Sadly my Grandmother couldn’t come as she is in hospital at the moment but when I visited her last week she was regretful that she wouldn’t be there and happy that I said I’d show her pictures on my visit tomorrow. Now that is progress over time to be proud of I think but highlights that poor old Aunty Anne loved in a very different era!
These days we can be open about who we love, whoever we love. This is the best thing. There doesn’t have to be hiding, wondering, secrets kept. well, not in my family anyway. People are just accepted for who they are these days and just like children today instinctively know how to use an iPad they also know there’s nothing to be ashamed of if two women get married. I hadn’t realised quite how normal it would be for Florence but as she was a bridesmaid I thought we’d better have a chat about how there were actually going to be two brides and no groom. The chat, I’m kind of proud to say, was totally unnecessary. She simply said ‘Mummy, sometimes girls marry boys and sometimes they marry girls’. She was telling me matter of factly that I was the only one who felt it necessary to have a conversation about something so obviously normal – shame on me I suppose. I shall know in future that this generation of little people definitely don’t need to be cotton wooled into knowing about all types of love.
Love is love and love is all you need!