I've called this "My Exorcism", but the truth is that it was just one of my many exorcisms. I grew up within a branch of Christianity that views demonic infestation as a potential cause of anything from homicidal tendencies to mild lumbago, so exorcisms were fairly common.
In this instance, however, the demon to be removed was of a most serious and sinister nature - homosexuality.
I had returned home from university the previous Christmas and confessed to my mother that I was ... well, I said bisexual. Anyway, we were all very upset by my non-straightness (including me), so it was decided that I should be exorcised, and that the exorcism should be led by my parents' friend from church, Lynn Harper*. Lynn had known me for several years, had prayed with me before and was very fond of me. Also, she would completely understand what I was going through, because she was an ex-lesbian.
Now I have to say, I was not wholly convinced of the ex-ness of her lesbianism. She was quite masculine and, at the risk of perpetuating stereotypes, I had seen her shoes. To me, they did not scream "footwear of a heterosexual woman". Also, I mentioned that she was fond of me? Yeah.
Nevertheless, she and her team of demon-busters were nice people and Lynn had a superb selection of biscuits, so I was up for it.
As it turned out, the exorcism was short and uneventful. A few shouts of "Get out, in the name of Jesus!", a bit of a sniffle from me and it was time to put the kettle on. Other exorcisms had involved crying, screaming, fist-banging and a hell of a lot of mucus. I have my theories as to why I used to cry so much and none of them have anything to do with demons. Still, this one was unexpectedly devoid of drama and over very quickly. Indeed, if they'd been in the mood, the team would have had enough time left over after my exorcism to take a pop at the evil spirits that kept making Lynn's dado rail fall down.
For about a fortnight afterwards, I shunned my biker jacket and jeans in favour of floral skirts, thus proving that while the foul demon of homosexuality may temporarily have been dislodged, the foul demon of poor dress sense was still firmly in place. And in the long run? Well, back then I defined myself as bisexual, whereas now I'm a full-on gay. So perhaps there was a genuine exorcism that day; they just chucked out the wrong thing.
*Name changed to protect the misguided but essentially well-meaning.