Suddenly I'm All The Trends

Just another gender fluid lesbian vegetarian. Call me basic.


It's not all about me, but if it was, I'd be thinking 'seriously people, are you having a laugh?' Because after years of feeling self-consciously different from most of my peers and having to explain myself to everyone from colleagues to snooty waiters in restaurants, the most interesting, unconventional things about me have been entirely co-opted by the mainstream. 

And now at best I'm an amalgam of millennial trends. At worst I'm just another basic gender fluid, lesbian vegetarian.


Part of me is thrilled – it's the ultimate vindication. In your FACE Uber drivers who called me sir, chefs who assumed I must surely eat bacon and hid it in the Garden Salad, and bullies at school who made me feel like a right weirdo for not wanting to kiss boys.  Finally I'm one of the cool kids! 

In your FACE Uber drivers who called me sir, chefs who assumed I must surely eat bacon

It's great to see how stars such as Amandla Stenberg and Jaden Smith are celebrated for refusing to conform to gender binaries, but I can't help feeling a bit sad that there were no such role models when I was their age. 


Is it wrong to wonder if my generation went through all the sh*t just so these teenagers can have an easy ride? 

I think probably it is. 

They still have a fight on their hands. The difference is there is a massive community of people online around the world offering their support. Lucky them. I had a gay pen pal in Minnesota, but it was hardly instant messaging.

And don't get me started on this hip 'new' wellness trend for not eating meat. I have spent 34 years a vegetarian. As the only kid in my primary school with such obscure dietary requirements, I had to eat my packed lunch outside the main lunchroom in case it scared the carnivores.

Now my friends talk about giving up dirty burgers and posh fried chicken as though they invented the idea. 

I invented the idea! 

Or at least I feel like I did. I've suffered through the indignity of dining out in France and having to nibble frites and a side salad while they enjoy three-course feasts; I've been the one at fashion parties discretely trying to regurgitate a canapé into a napkin because it was chicken, not cheese. I've had to face the wrath of other guests at supper parties when they are forced to eat the same broccoli quiche as me so I don't feel left out, 'we're all going for a kebab after', they'll quietly conspire. 

You've bought the Deliciously Ella cookbook on Amazon, done a few meat-free Mondays and suddenly you're Linda Bloody McCartney.

I've been the one at parties discretely regurgitating a canapé into a napkin because it was chicken

The plus side is there are now countless veggie-friendly places for me to buy lunch everyday, there's always loads I can order on the menu at cool new restaurants and I'm never the only vegetarian in the room. Still though, surely I deserve some kind of gold star.

Talking of gold-star, The New York Times recently ran a piece entitled If Everyone Can Be 'Queer', Is Anyone? It highlighted the fact that even straight people are now claiming the label if they don't feel totally comfortable with heteronormativity. 

I'm all for this, and love the idea of people queering the norm whatever their sexuality. But the fact is some people are just plain and simply gay, always have been, always will be. 

It's not a trend or a phase or a political statement or a problem of semantics – we were born this way and are, though this now seems pretty dull in comparison to the plethora of identities out there, just really, really gay.

I'm not claiming to be Sappho herself but there is certainly a feeling among my generation of homos that we've been there, done that got the Beyoncé T-Shirt. 

So if you are new to the queer party I would like to say 'hello and welcome', but don't forget that coming out hasn't always been easy, it still isn't. Amid all this fantastic intellectualising and questioning of gender and sexuality, homophobia is still a frightening reality.


The truth is I enjoy being different and watching that frisson of confusion in someone's eyes as they try to place me as a person. 

It seems now my only chance of feeling that thrill of otherness is to go a few steps further. 

Do I need to use the Mx pronoun? 

Do I need to be a vegan? 

Should I say I'm ambisexual? 

Or maybe I should just be happy that the world has finally caught up, and I'm officially the new normal. 

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