So it turns out that when I am the one throwing up everywhere and I am the one incapable of walking across a room without stopping for multiple breaks, I can still write in my blog. But when the love of my life is under the weather, it is far more important for me to clean the house, make the meals, buy orange juice and tissues and medicine, and be available. And I think that this is the right way for things to be. So, I’m sorry I disappeared briefly from blogland, but I think it was for the right reasons.
One thing I’ve been meaning to write about for awhile is the way being engaged has changed my ability to/ the necessity of coming out to people on a regular basis. I don’t mean “coming out” in a big huge way, like, “Wow I finally came out to my family and it was big and huge.” I mean coming out in the little ways that happen almost in passing, with people who don’t really matter, like conversations I used to have at work: “Oh, you and your boyfriend are moving in together, and he’s bringing a dog and you’re bringing a cat? Yeah, my girlfriend and I did that, and they get along fine now.” You can substitute “girlfriend” for “partner”, but it still leaves (I think) a pretty distinct impression of who my person is, gender-wise.
Once we became “officially” engaged, Turtle was no longer my girlfriend, but my fiancèe. Interestingly, when spoken, fiancèe (for a woman) sounds exactly like fiancè (for a man). It’s a fun little temporary game where I know I’m not coming out every time I mention Turtle, as long as I avoid pronouns… or just mutter them. In fact, sometimes I’ll just skip over them.
“Oh yeah, my fiancèe is currently unemployed.”
“Oh, what does he do for work?”
“Used to work in nonprofit development, but now *mumble* is looking for ….” etc.
Depending on who it is, I will correct them – “Oh, SHE used to work in nonprofit development…” – but more often then not, I just move along and sort of marvel at the assumptions people make. It’s not that I don’t want people to know I’m dating a woman; it’s more that they don’t need to know, and it’s an interesting sort of social experiment to watch their reactions and my reactions in the whole conversation. Plus, in slightly less than 6 months, this game will be over – “wife” is not a very gender-neutral term.
What would you do in this situation? Have you dealt with this at all? I’m curious…