Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Coming out. Again.

I finally came out last week.
To my new hairstylist.
She's cut my hair four or five times now and I've talked about my grandkids, my sons, the neighborhood, movies, etc... but hadn't yet had occasion to mention "my partner."

When I did finally say that phrase along with BB's name, the conversation just kept on rolling. It was nothing. But it was something. I just know there was that barely perceptible nanosecond when the stylist's intellection of me changed. Not for better or worse necessarily, not in a judgemental way, but changed none-the-less. And no matter how many people I come out to, this is always a nanosecond I dread.

A gay person doesn't come out once, it's a continual thing. Especially if you're a gay person who has recently moved to a new community, like me. Moving means coming out to new people again and again and again.

For me there were also recently a lot of doctor's forms, many of which asked my marital status. Am I single, married, or divorced?  I could just check single, or divorced, but neither of those seem right. I've taken to just writing in a new category, Partnered, and circling it.

I don't know why I dread these moments of coming out. I'm not ashamed. Or afraid. It's just that one moment, that "Oh."

I just know I'm being re-categorized during that moment. I know I've just become an "other" instead of "one of us," even to those heterosexuals who think of themselves as gay friendly.

BB says it's getting easier and easier for her to come out. She thinks this is because people's attitudes are changing, and I agree. I'm glad to be living here and now. I'm not complaining. I'm just observing. And who knows, I could be wrong. Maybe that whole re-categorizing thing is only in my head - but I doubt it.


maggie's garden said...

I have to agree with BB...I think people are really good with gay. I lost my husband 21 years ago and I'm straight/ still single :(.... although people take me for gay all the time...I'm okay with sister lost her husband 5 yrs ago. We tend to do a lot together...and because she wears most of her husband's clothes and shops the men's dept)...people usually take us as a gay couple and are surprised when they find out we're sisters and straight. I find it funny how easily some people stereotype us by how we dress..or whatever...and can be quite assuming. But for the most part I think people are pretty cool with it.
My son's good friend is gay and was afraid to come out until after high school. He's a great kid...22 yrs old now, in law school, and totally okay with how people feel about it....not so much during high school though.
I like what Dr. Seuss says, Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

Hilarywho said...

Maggie, I'm so sorry about the loss of your husband, and your sister's too. How sad. Nice to know you've got each other to lean on.