Here is a story of an actual thing that happened to me yesterday: I went to the grocery store dressed like a sleuth, because I’ve had the flu for two weeks and I look like — what did Katie Fitch call it? Oh, right — microwaved s–t, and I really didn’t fancy seeing anyone I know. So I was clunking up and down the ice cream aisle searching for my favorite popsicles and this woman was staring and staring and staring at me and finally she goes, “Heather Hogan?” And I ignored her because, like I said, I was dressed in disguise. But then she put her hands on my shoulders and turned me around and introduced herself as someone I went to church with like a hundred years ago. Then right out loud she says, “We were talking about you in Sunday School this morning. Are you still struggling with homosexuality?”
And, I mean, maybe it was all the flu drugs, but I thought what she was asking was, “Are you still trying to be the best lesbian you can be?” Which is a totally valid question because I’m not a very good gay sometimes. I don’t like TV shows I’m supposed to like and I don’t eat bulgur wheat or whatever organic thing and the word “womyn” confuses me to no end. But then I realized she was saying, “Are you still afflicted with the demon of gayness?”
I laughed at her, which wasn’t really very nice, but the only demon I was afflicted with was Influenza A, and I didn’t have the energy to: a) Find her time machine and send her back to the Dark Ages, or b) Pull out my Bible and explain in intricate detail how misguided she is.
And that’s how come I am so attached to Coronation Street. It does that exact thing for me, every single week. It’s like an honest-to-Merlin, welcome-to-2011 missile, aimed at every dumb homophobic thing. I live in a small town in the Bible Belt of America, and I just know a long-standing primetime soap like Corrie would set things on fire around here, in the very best way. Also, of course, I’ve fallen in love with Sophie and Sian, and I can do a Mancunian accent in my sleep these days, so there’s no turning back now.
When last we left our Weatherfield lezzers, Sian was on her way to meet up with her mum and her mum’s boyfriend for a holiday to the Caribbean or something. Apparently at Sophie and Sian’s college, “tram crash/domestics/homelessness/SECRET BABIES” are not as valid as “sun/sand/fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas” when it comes to excuses for absence. Sian’s on her way home now, though, and Sophie is beside herself with glee. She’s even managed to change out of her candy floss dressing gown and do some vacuuming.
When Sian arrives on the Southpaw Express, they squeal and hug each other, and Sophie practically carries Sian home where she’s already prepared their tea. Sian is super tan, by the way. Like, I don’t even think there’s enough sun in England in an entire year to make someone that tan. She gushes about her holiday and Sophie’s like, “Yeah, I mean, I had a good time too. I just, you know, got kicked out of college and started working full time at Sunita’s corner shop and took a couple of showers and missed you until I thought my heart was going to explode in my chest. But I guess that sounds kind of pathetic.” Sian’s like, “Not as pathetic as you’re going to sound when I drop this bomb on you: I’m moving back in with my mum. In fact, my own personal bus should be showing up any second now, so I’ve gotta bounce.”
On a scale of Feelings to FEELINGS, I’d say Sophie takes the news somewhere in the FEELINGS!!! range.