I’m not a lesbian, but…

Words: Kathy Giddins

Art: Peter Campbell

I recently went on a date with a girl. Not a “date” in the way some girls say “Oh we’re going on a girl date” when they’re actually just going out for a drink as friends, but an actual “This is deadly serious, let’s get to know one another” date.

How I ended up in this position is quite a simple story, really. I want a relationship but all the boys I seem to meet are just not interested, or rather, not interested in commitment. I’ve had as many one night stands as the next person but now I want something more. I’m sick of being ghosted and I’m sick of meeting boys who:

(A) only want to have sex with me, or

(B) pretend that they want a relationship just so they can have sex with me.

For some reason, whether I’m just looking in the wrong places or if I’m somehow camouflaged from potential partners, I’ve always just been a bit unlucky in love.

Ian Addison Hall, Patterns of Science 2011

So I did what any other struggling singleton does in 2015 – I downloaded Tinder.  At first I found it so fun and developed a bit of a swiping addiction but eventually I became so bored with it. I’m fed up of recycled, vulgar chat-up lines like “Your legs are like an Oreo cookie. I want to split them open and eat all the good stuff in the middle,” or bizarre questions like “Are you into pegging?” (Google it if you dare.) I just wanted to go on a date with a normal person who would actually be interested in getting to know me as a person and not just engineer me into bed.

Hence how I found myself on a date with a girl. After changing my discovery settings to show me both men and women, it wasn’t long before I had a few matches.  I started chatting with one girl because we had a few mutual friends and I really liked her profile. Not only was she pretty with a lovely smile, but she’d spent a year abroad in Sydney so she had some cool shots with her looking all tanned and rocking the windswept beach hair. Since I was just testing the waters, so to speak, I didn’t want to give her any false impressions regarding my sexuality. Here’s how our opening exchange went:

Kathyimage (2)

A few hours later we met up in one of my favourite wine bars. Initially I felt a bit awkward. How should I act? What should I say?  But such anxieties were nothing new compared to the normal first date nerves I’d have were I meeting up with a guy.  Sarah* and I chatted about everything from films to travelling but I knew the elephant in the room was still the question of sexuality. I broached the topic first (after a few glasses of wine) and it transpired that she’d had a relationship with a boy before but it had “just felt wrong” so she’d subsequently decided she was more attracted to women. I explained that I just wanted to be more open minded to the possibility of having romantic feelings for a girl. I’ve always been appreciative of feminine beauty but since I went to a Catholic school and have always identified as straight, I’d never allowed myself to be sexually attracted to someone of the same sex. It’s a bit like always ordering the same thing off the menu – how do you know you don’t like something else until you try it?

At the end of the date Sarah came back to my place. We chatted a bit more, had a cup of tea and then she left. There was no awkward moment where we wondered whether or not sex was on the agenda.

Jiří Kolář,  Collage, Mademoiselle Rivière. Peinture de Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1805), 1981

Our sex defines who we are biologically but gender can be relative to social and cultural differences so does it really matter in terms of who we love?  I might go out with a thousand men who I like but would it be so crazy to think that the person I end up falling in love with and spending the rest of my life with is a woman?  I don’t think so. I’m not going to label myself as a lesbian or bi-curious because in society we’re obsessed with unnecessary labels. All I will say is that when it comes to love, gender can just be relative – personality and soul counts for so much more. 

*name has been changed.


Kathy Giddins is a final year languages student (French,Spanish and Italian) with a love for cats, writing and traveling.  She is originally from Ireland but studies in Exeter, England. Check out her work here, here and here.

Peter Campbell is one of our favourite collage artists. Check him out here.

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