Being single in London can be a tough gig – as a girl last Saturday discovered. Standing on the dancefloor, she suddenly cried desperately in my ear: ‘I can’t work out who is gay!’ When I stared at her blankly, she leaned over: ‘I’m single for the first time in five years and I don’t know which of these guys is straight.’ Well duh, if you choose to start your new single life in urbanite, metrosexual London where all and sundry are well-coiffed and understatedly stylish, it should be what you expect!
Maybe to ease the girl’s confusion we should insist on dividing the room in two with all the Priscilla: Queen of the Desert extras miming to Kylie in glitter leotards on one side and a group of beer-swilling, T-shirt-and-jeans-sporting guys, with either unwashed or over-gelled hairstyles, just hanging at the bar refusing to dance? Perhaps we could let gay men wear signs for her convenience? No, wait; Adolf Hitler tried to introduce that once and there was a reason it didn’t go down well…
Surely the fact that gay and straight fashion and lifestyle here in London is merging is a sign of progress? Straight men who come to London even seem to embrace it, a male friend of mine having decided to wear his coral trousers because he liked them and no one in London was going to care. At the same time I know a guy who loves London’s ambiguity, which means he never gets asked questions that he doesn’t want to answer.
As I’m writing this even I’m painfully aware of how clichéd and even old-fashioned these notions are. Even typing this feels like stereotyping (ba-da-boom!). The amalgamation of what is perceived gay or straight is just another kind of emancipation; and everyone got over the women-wearing-trousers thing in the end, so as women we can only support this.
On top of this, for crying out loud, you’re a straight woman trying to flirt with men. I mean: Hey girl, what could possibly go wrong? You might get a smile and a wink as the reason for your rejected proposal dawns on you: this is not the most common reaction of a straight guy when he’s chatted up in the men’s toilet – ask George.
Personally, I only have theoretical understanding of differentiating gay and straight for liaison purposes; in practice, I have a knack to ignore my failing gaydar – even when all the alarm bells go off, the sprinklers come on and the automated voice urges us to evacuate the building. So perhaps the best person to solve your conundrum is the guy you have your eye on. And as you’re currently standing on a sweaty dancefloor at 2am after a broken long-term relationship, my wild guess is you’re not exactly looking for Mr Right anyway.
Stop whining and go for it, newly-single-girl-who-I-don’t-know; go for your life: it’s a bit like a box of chocolates… Oh, and if you’re wondering about not catching someone’s eye, don’t blame their sexuality; it’s probably because you are fidgety and seemingly whispering sweet nothings in some Chinese chick’s ear.
Image by shockingly tasty courtesy of Flickr