I often seek out BYO restaurants, to avoid paying exorbitant prices for wine, and turn up at the appointed dinner time with a bottle in a brown paper bag. It’s convenient and I can choose from a wide variety, from still to sparkling, from white and rose to red. These days, in the aftermath of the legalisation of same sex marriage and its flow-ons, I can equally BYO my gender, my sexuality and my race and skin colour, without needing any reference to physical, observable reality.
This is the new paradigm; you can just wrap-and-whip out your preferred gender – and change it at whim. Gender is fluid, we now know, as fluid as the wine in my bottle of BYO. I can change water into wine, as it were, when I arrive for pre-dinner drinks at the bar and ask the bloke sitting on a stool by himself if he’d like to buy me a drink (in the same spirit of economies as BYO wine). I quickly have to add that of course I am not another bloke, since today, or at least this evening, I identify as a female, in case he misunderstands and takes me for a homosexual. Of course, even if he did, he would have to go ahead and buy me a drink or risk being called a homophobe by the busty barman and thrown out.
Drinking my first gin and tonic while he drinks his third beer, I ask how he thinks of himself these days as regards his race. He looks like a white dude, but you never know. When he surprises with a quiet “Black” I might spill my G&T in surprise as I whoop “Me too!”
Then comes the crucial bit: does he identify as heterosexual? If he edges away from me and turns his back, I figure he is terribly confused and/or embarrassed. I place a comforting hand on his left shoulder … a big mistake.
All the details of what followed can be found in the file of complaint under ‘Queen v Victim A – sexual harassment in a public bar’.
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