By Chloe Tse
My mother hates that I’m a lesbian. This year’s winter holidays provided enough family time for my parents to conjure up multiple ways to find “Mr. Right.”
They found a clipping from a Chinese horoscope that suggested that he would fall from the sky by 2008. We could marry and I could bear all 17 of their grandchildren, after riding off into a pretty heterosexual sunset and living happily ever after.
But that’s not happening. I’m not gay because I was scorned by some bad heterosexual relationship. I was never traumatized by a man. I simply have a natural fondness of women and prefer their company.
Granted, most of the men in my life are obnoxious. The majority of men I encounter are inappropriate, inconsiderate and validate the unfortunate, classic male stereotypes.
Between their ludicrous propositions, these men make bold statements like, “I can convert you” or “you just haven’t been with a real man yet” or “I’ll take you out and see how gay you are afterwards.”
I called them on it for the sake of journalism, my parents and my own amusement. I accepted three heterosexual dates with three different men from all different walks of life. I have granted these determined men quality, intimate dates with me in an effort to alter my perspective of the male gender — and to make my parents happy.
My first date was with another university student in the same year and program as me. I did not find my soulmate. Simon Mountford, 22, had suggested that I give him an opportunity to take me out. He had been interested in me since first year when I would wheel into class on my rollerblades. I agreed to go on a date with him and he picked me up at 6:30 pm on an icy Thursday night.
A classic door-opening gentleman, Mountford sported a striped shirt with one of his better pairs of jeans for our night out. He was a typical young, anxious and sweet date. My homophobic parents would be so proud.
During dinner, we discussed crazy ex-girlfriends and receiving multiple text messages declaring their obviously unrequited love. It was fun, relatively comfortable — and platonic.
Our server at the Pickle Barrel got the vibe we were just friends going out for dinner. She pointed out that people who are intimate are usually more interested in each other than her.
She couldn’t see us going home together, but she could see us being friends and Simon was satisfied with that. On the way home, the car wouldn’t start.
Frustrated, Simon explained that the cable to the battery was old and no longer fit because of leaking battery acid. After half an hour, he was still trying to make it work.
Finally, I offered my services. We popped the hood — he warned me my hands may get dirty — and I fiddled around with things. I directed him to hold the battery in place while I took the keys and started the car. I took it as a sign from a higher being that I didn’t need a man.
My next date was with Ron (just Ron,) 32, a technology software worker at TD Canada Trust, who took me out on Saturday night to the Keg. Practising chivalry, he was a door-opening, arm-extending, “ladies first” kind of a man. He was kind and I could think of six of my friends I’d approve of him marrying.
Our conversation was comfortable. Without any awkward silences, we shared stories and thoughts over our deliciously carnivorous dinner. “This is a lot of pressure,” Ron commented while shifting on his side of the booth. “I hope I do a good job representing men.” He did.
He managed to be a pretty decent first date too. He avoided annoying bad first date clichés and spoke eloquently. He was courteous, clever and had a good, dorky sense of humour. I got him.
However, there wasn’t a single moment during the date in which I imagined him naked. The thought disturbed me and firmly reinforced my gayness — especially when I noticed the hot brunette bartender making my Caeser.
When the night ended, I received a sweet kiss on a cheek and I made a new friend. But I still hadn’t been converted.
My last date was with Kevin, 28, a tree planter. He’s had a boyfriend, rejects the bisexuality label and expected nothing more than enjoying himself on this date — whether or not I ended up in his bed.
With a spontaneous mind and two magic Metropasses , he took me on an adventure around Toronto. Beginning at Union station, we made our way to the Harbourfront. We journeyed through the York Quay Centre and examined the pretty glass art and obscure, abstract photography at the gallery.
He talked about how he took everything the universe threw at him and thanked it. We talked a lot about our broken hearts and our best bedroom moments.
We shared stories about our homosexual experiences and were able to compare them with heterosexual experiences. He clearly liked men more than I did, but also seemed to like women just as much as me.
I liked that he was equally comfortable with getting it on with men and women and it was cool that he was doing a good job of redeeming the male gender, but it wasn’t cool that I felt absolutely nothing for him. I even tried to. He was relatively attractive, very smart and not annoying. I was actually enjoying myself during the date.
It was a shame how friendly and non-sexual the whole vibe felt — had he been a pretty little pixie, he’d be passed out in my bed the next morning waiting for chocolate chip pancakes.
But he was a man and I’d rather go back to high school and take math or science than sleep with him.
The truth is men aren’t evil. They aren’t that bad at all. They’re relatively good on dates and can speak well when you talk to one who is capable of carrying a conversation. They’re not as stupid as we often make them out to be and they’re not all ignorant, misogynistic assholes. I’m just not interested.
I’m not a straight girl. I’m gay — even after a mini-series of heterosexual dates — and nothing will ever be able to change that, much to my parent’s dismay. Despite a crazy year of drama, broken hearts, romantic vignettes and raunchy bathroom stall encounters, I continue to await my princess.