Norwich Pride 2016: Words, Love and Being Proud

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Today is Norwich Pride and while I usually avoid big events, Pride is something I really wanted to do this year, almost to cement my new persona properly.

Oh and be proud.

I’m openly not straight (for clarifications purposes I’m attracted to men and woman and probably aliens but, when it comes to sex, I’m more into my same gender). I don’t know what that makes me, I call myself ‘bi’ but when aliens eventually show up that’s not going to work, is it? The point is I like people, intelligence is my biggest turn on and the world is not as rigid as it once was. Fluidity is becoming the norm in various places and a way of life.

A few years ago, the Parental Unit/BioUnit sat me down in a pub with a pint and told me: ‘I think your bisexuality’s a phase’.

Everyone else in my family is straight and if she declared it, so must it be. Because narcissism. I’ve been like this my entire life. I remember, being seven, and reading about homosexuality as a footnote next to a little girl who was normal (aka straight) staring dreeamily at a poster of a boy popstar.

I was that little girl (hell, Wil Wheaton was my first crush) but as I grew up, met people and saw what life really looks like, things became much clearer. I like men, I like women, I like people and that’s never going to change.

Two and a half decades of figuring out my sexuality … a phase? It’s really not.

So when I started writing many of my characters were dating members of the same genders. Some didn’t. There was Taras and Garrin, Daie and Jannah, Khalyn, Uma and Kavan (my favourite relationship of the lot), Elyn and Zoe (both of whom ‘swing every way possible’ in the most glorious and sacred of ways), There are also straight couples: Kali and Azrael, Kash and Esca, Zoe and Bry, James and Shai (though she is just like her aunt Elyn).

Of all of them Natalie Cross, who you’ll meet in a Priestess novel, is the only one who acknowledges herself as openly bi (and a practicing witch to boot) because she’s always been that way. Her two mums taught her well, about life, and being yourself.

A while ago, someone told me they didn’t like the fact there were so many gay/bi characters in my books. This offended me deeply because of the person who said it and they are, I’m happy to say, no longer in my life. I’ve always been taught to write what you know and I’m a huge fan—and a cis-female bisexual disabled pagan—of diversity. So, duh, of course I’m going to write strong female characters, blind ones, disabled ones, mentally ill ones and ones who enjoy sex with whomever plugs the hole in their heart and soul.

Because, at the heart of it all, everyone wants to be loved, especially me.

I’ve spent my life starved of it and, really, the one thing I want is to be loved. Not because of pity, my guide-hound or money but because I’m smart, sometimes witty and a nice person. Uni is playing the role of my wingdog in ‘adopting’ a human though, despite being a retriever and given the outline of ‘female and single’, she’s not yet found me the right person. Last week she tried to adopt a married couple with a pram …

Yeah, maybe I need a human for this task.

The point is my writing is my life and it’s a form of wish-fulfilment, peril, adventures, love and suffering. All of it is part of the path and a part of me. Love me, love my dog, love my cats AND my books.

So today, with ribbons in my hair, I plan to celebrate, to be proud of who I am, what I’ve done and who I’ve become.

I’m Asha Bardon, I’m an author, I want to date a nice woman and enjoy my life with someone else. I want to write books and craft arcs, I want to explore new worlds and forgotten ones. Oh and I want to do it with someone else, someone I’ve not met yet, but whom I hope to soon.

And, for the first time in thirty-six years, I’m finally me.

Happy Pride everyone!

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