I’ll never forget the precise moment I chose to be gay. It was the endpoint in a process of rebellion against my white middle-class parents that climaxed with me smuggling a black drug dealer into my bedroom at 3 a.m. on a school night aged 15.
They have a word for this in America. Bratty young white girls who shack up with African Americans (preferably belonging to the criminal underclass) are known as coalburners. I’d previously lost my virginity in a fivesome with two boys and two girls. But that didn’t sufficiently scandalise my mother, so I decided to up my game. At the time, bringing home impoverished ethnic minorities felt like the ultimate desecration of my well-heeled, two-ponies-and-a-pool Home Counties rearing.
All the best sex – in fact, all the best things in life – are transgressive and naughty. But there’s a problem when forbidden fruits go mainstream. When you teach yourself to be excited solely by transgressive acts, and end up only really happy when you’re breaking rules or upsetting someone, you’re at the mercy of changing fashions.
Today, thanks to society’s endless mollycoddling and celebration of “alternative” lifestyles, the joy of rebellion is drying up for me. You see, I only plumped for homosexuality to irritate my parents. But now even they are fine with it. A few years ago, my mum said, perhaps cannily, “All I want is for you to be happy.”
That came as devastating news. Because my sexuality was never about maternal acceptance, but rather the mischievous and incorrigible pursuit of social censure and the threat of being cut out of the will. Now my gayness was not only roundly applauded by wider society but even my own parents, what was the point?
So I find myself in the perplexing position of asking: what’s next? Casting my eye around modern Britain, in the last few months I’ve been on the look-out for the most marginalised, ridiculed and socially ostracised slice of the population. And I think I’ve nailed it: it’s time for me to become a straight white male.
No other subset of the populace is as relentlessly maligned and demonised as those with the misfortune of being born white, straight, and a man. They are constantly bashed in the media, on the internet, and even at schools and universities, where there are very real structural disadvantages these days to being a boy.
It pains me to admit that, in today’s permissive culture, it is easier to be an outrageously gay man than it is to present with the symptoms of so-called toxic masculinity. By pure accident of birth, your skin colour, sexuality and sex can today be used with impunity against you, to dismiss your opinions and even pay you less at work: under the age of 30, women now earn more than men for the same jobs in both Britain and America.
Since gay people have been so endlessly praised, flattered and catered to by the media and politicians, I’ve lost interest in sleeping with men. I want to feel oppressed again! That’s why, from today, I’m going to make a go of being straight. Wish me luck!