When I was a child I had this book. I do not remember much of it, not the name, not the author. I remember one scene only; a large dinner party with a lot of people around the table. The hero is unsure of who is a good and who is evil and in order to find out, the hero puts a potion in the food and the secret is revealed in the shape of different colored sparks or flames over each persons head. Like brutal litmus.

Picture it: high school, early 1990s. Daydreaming in the cafeteria, wanting that potion so bad. My gaydar at the time was beyond bad, no-one was out and different colored flames over their heads to let only me know who was straight and who was not would have been a blessing. But no, I went through high school unkissed and frustrated.

It is early August and I am working out at the gym. A guys passes me, I notice two things: First, he is butch but cute. Second, he has got glitter leftovers in his face and in his chest hair. It is the kind of glitter you get from drag queens of all genders, not from girlfriends. The kind of glitter I still find in my flat weeks after Stockholm Pride each year.

I have found it, gay litmus!

Advertisements