I’ve recently just got back from Australia I say that mainly because I want you to know that I’ve been to Australia. That’s how my career’s going people I have to leave the country to get work…
No but seriously I am incredibly successful (in my own head) and being away does give you permission to reinvent yourself and rejuvenate your work. I love Australia and Australians, they’re a bit like us except they’re…well happy; even they’re casual racism is more upbeat. I never tired of being asked this question, “What kind of wog are you?’ You’ve got to give it to the Aussies they have a way with words. For those of you who haven’t been to Australia you won’t be familiar with this expression. It’s basically a term used for anyone of Mediterranean descent, being half Spanish and looking entirely not English I am 100% wog.
Don’t be alarmed the term ‘wog’ has been claimed back by the Greeks, Italians and Spaniards in Australia. In fact it was a Greek woman who wanted to know the exact nature of my woggishness. Once I told her I was Spanish she was delighted because her cousin had been to Spain once and she loves tapas! Naturally we had A LOT to talk about.
Obviously as a gay woman that doesn’t own a dress or a pair of shoes without laces, I don’t always fit in for other reasons. Having been called ‘a f*cking queer’ by a charming group of lads shouting from their car as I walked down the street just the other day, I realised that ‘queer’ was a word I had claimed back years ago.
Some words can hold power particularly those used to denigrate a group of people or highlight a perceived difference. For years being called ‘queer’ was considered an insult, but now if anything it’s a compliment! For me being queer is an accurate description of the misfit I am and will always hope to be. Most of my friends are queer weirdos and a lot of them aren’t even gay. Who wouldn’t want to be queer? The alternative is of course being straight (how awful!) That’s right gay people can be straight (Hello Peter Mandelson) and straight people can be really bloody queer (Hello Grayson Perry.)
When it comes to queer vs straight it’s a no brainer, cause ‘the weirdo’ wins every time.