The love that dare not speak its name

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An anonymous student reflects on their struggles with coming out as bisexual in their traditional home town

“I just can’t imagine it, you know? I can’t imagine anyone nowadays who wouldn’t accept their kids as gay. My parents would love it. No, seriously, I think they’re hoping I’ll come out any day now.”

I smile like I agree, as though it seems to me too, to be a remote possibility. And, here, in Cambridge, it is. But Cambridge is not the only reality.

I like to joke that I was brought up in the 1950s. I say joke; it’s not an inaccurate description. My home-town village is idyllic. Around three hours cross-country from Cambridge is another flat, slightly rainy, green place. It’s a place where people go on holiday. It is peppered with small family-owned pubs; fireplaces and cheesy chips; welly-booted, darned-jumpered, flat-capped farmers; labradors; chocolate-box houses; fields. Miles and miles of fields. You can walk for hours and not run into a single person. My village has a church, a playground and a garage. I work in the pub in pheasant-hunting season. I know the regulars by name.

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