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Digital Subscriptions > DIVA Magazine > March 2016 > My Bully, My Friend

My Bully, My Friend

CHARLOTTE DINGLE’S SCHOOLDAYS WERE MARRED BY PERSISTENT BULLYING. SO HOW COME SHE’S FRIENDS WITH THE RINGLEADER NOW?

Befriending my bully

It was 1998. I was 14 years old and about as out and proud as it is humanly possible to be, against terrible odds. That was me, racing down the school corridors illegally draped in rainbow scarves, with illegal Indigo Girls lyrics etched illegally in capitals across every subject folder (oft en, of course, with a copy of DIVA poking out of the side).

Then there was Lisa. My homophobic closet-case bully, shouting “Dyke!” at me across the lunch-hall, avoiding me in the PE changing rooms and generally wishing furiously that she wasn’t anywhere near me. By the same token, I cannot think of anyone I hated more at the time, and I gather the feeling of horror at one another’s sheer existence was somewhat mutual.

Now, in our early 30s – me settled happily in my bi activist identity and her a very confident gay scene-queen – we’re firm friends. How on earth did that happen? We went back to our old stomping ground in Medway, Kent, and met up for a pint and a chat about how things have changed – and why we reacted so differently to our respective emergent sexualities.

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About DIVA Magazine

Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story, Carol, 12 Years A Slave) talks with refreshing openness about her work, her relationships and inadvertently coming out in our in depth interview with her. Also in this issue: BFI Flare - Our pick of this years festival. Kaitlyn Alexander. Will "the lesbian Netflix" change the face of lez and bi culture? Transgender parenting. Interactive artist and activist Maya Choudhury. What is life like for those who are queer and autistic? LGBT history in museums. DIVA's history quiz. Jacky Fleming. Why has bi-activist Charlotte Dingle befriended her school bully? Meet the couple behind lesbian card company, Slamsister designs. Travel with us to Spanish lesbian resort, Bambu or find romance in New York. Plus all the very best in life, scene, books, film, music and TV.
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