OK, so... I eventually mustered up the courage to go to the Essex-based Women4Women (great name) drop-in – a coffee morning held every two weeks for lesbian and bisexual women. To say that I was pleasantly surprised would be like saying the Titanic hit a couple of ice cubes and took on a little water. I was A-mazed! Such a friendly bunch, and women of all ages – twenty-somethings, thirty-, forty-, fifty-, yes even sixty-somethings, and... one incredibly cheeky 89-year-old! I'm looking forward to getting to know her. All from completely different backgrounds, with noticeably different styles; but two things in common (well, three if you count the obvious): sense of humour and warmth. They were so welcoming, and immediately I was put at ease by their willingness to accept me and include me in their banter.
We all shot the breeze for a couple of hours, then a few decided they'd like to carry on chatting after the venue closed, so I joined them as they moved on to a local pub for lunch. Again, I felt completely comfortable with them, as if I'd known them for years - weird! Now, I know I shouldn't get too carried away - and past experience is telling me not to be so naïve as to take anything on face value - but I am feeling a bit hopeful about human kind after my two-and-a-half years of self-imposed exile.
And once I found out that there are quite a few members who regularly play pool and darts together... well, I was filled with more optimism right then and there! Does that make me a stereotypical lesbian? Oops. Then again, they do all sorts of things that mean just about anyone could get their fill of socialising – walks, cycling, meals, karaoke, parties, film nights, theatre, BBQs, the list goes on and on. Do I sound like I'm doing a promotion for them? Well, maybe I am!
If I'd known this wonderful, diverse, funny, kind, well-organised group of lesbians existed just around the corner from my house a couple of years ago, I needn't have spent so long sitting in solitude, doubting myself. And I'm sure there are plenty of women sitting around like I was, who would benefit greatly from making the acquaintance of these gals. So, if anyone stumbles across this blog and needs some socialising, I won't hold back from recommending them! Find them at: www.w4wessex.co.uk