I have two notable things to report:
First, today I came out to someone. Not a super big deal – I think I come out to people a lot, mostly in simple conversation (“oh, yeah, it was my partner’s idea, and I don’t disagree with her”; “my wife works at [university] and is pretty awesome”), or because it’s obvious to them that I’m gay*, or whatever it is. Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before, I work at an animal hospital and I see a lot of regular clients. I get to know some of them pretty well between all the phone calls, their visits, and small talk while waiting for procedures to be done. The funny thing is, though, that I don’t think they get to know me very well. I know that they do or don’t have kids, I generally know who their partner/spouse is, I know where they live and often what they do for a living. I petsit for a lot of them, so I even know what the insides of their houses look like… it’s a strange, distant, one-sided intimacy.
Anyway, today someone whose cats I have cared for multiple times came in. She must have noticed my rings, because all of a sudden she said, “Bird, did you get married?!” I told her I did, she was happy for me; she asked about whether I changed my name, and I said yes and explained the whole complicated hyphenated name moving over and still being hyphenated… and then she asked what my husband does.
Let’s rewind again for a minute. Remember how fascinated I was when I could suddenly hide the gender of the person I was in a relationship with? Quick review: it is fascinating to suddenly be able to use a gender-neutral word to completely accurately describe the person I am in a relationship with: fiancee. You spell it differently if it’s a woman, but you say it exactly the same way. And I talked way back when about how I loved that… and then Ms. Awesome said:
I actually LOVE the constant opportunities to come out that being engaged presents. The girl at Paper Source? the lady at Bloomingdales? my co-w0rkers? Distant family members? Yup. I’ve gotten to come out to all these lovelies and then some. In almost all cases there’s been a pause, a pronoun shift, and then our conversation has continued. Easy peasy. And such a simple way to be honest and open about our lives and start changing the “norm” for what being an engaged lady means!
And she’s right. How do people know they know gay people unless we tell them? So I took a deep breath and said, “Wife, actually,” and then I smiled at her and said, “She works in alum relations at [university].”
And here’s what else: it might not be okay. Honestly, she looked surprised, possibly a little offended, and didn’t say much else to me. Knowing what I do know about her (again, strange one-sided intimacy), I wouldn’t be surprised if she is unfriendly to me from now on, or at the very least does not ask me to petsit again. Maybe I’m selling her short, but either way, you know what? It doesn’t matter. I was honest about who I was, and maybe it will change someone’s mind. Maybe it won’t, but here’s to being honest, being open, and being proud of doing it.
Okay, so that was a really long first thing. Sorry. Here’s the second thing:
Last night I put my damn skates on and I went to an open skate in Boston. And, you guys! It turns out I didn’t forget how to skate! I’m actually half decent! By which I mean, I felt reasonably comfortable on skates, and I felt like I was skating much better at the end of the hour than I was at the beginning.** So I guess I’ll do this thing.
Interesting tidbits: I heard one girl who is going to be trying out talking about a bruise she had, and how her neighbor asked her if she was okay, and she said, “Oh yeah, it’s just from derby!” When I overheard this, my first thought was, Seriously? That’s not derby. That’s just skating and falling down.
Hahaha. Hi Karma, nice to meet you. In my last lap around the rink during an open skate, I tried to do something like speed up, and I have no idea what happened, but I fell, rolled over twice, and possibly hit my elbows with my wheels. Point being: ridiculous fall. Second point being: I have a ridiculous bruise on my hip/ass. The size of a melon, you guys. It’s impressive. And you know what I’ll now have to tell anyone who asks? “It was from skating in a circle and falling down.” Because if I think other people should say it, then I’ll own up and say it too. Or maybe it should just be okay for everyone to claim derby, as long as there were eight wheels involved. Yeah, I pick that one.
So, who wants to see my bruise I got at derby last night?
*Seriously, I maintain that Gaydar exists. Not that it’s a sixth sense, but that people who are gay know how to pretty-accurately identify/recognize other people who are gay. It’s a survival/affirmation thing, in my opinion. Thoughts?
**I have yet to read a derby blog where I care about what specific things people are working on (“My crossovers were good at first, but so much better at the end! All I have to do is focus on pushing out with my left foot, rather than thinking about my right foot.”) That said, those are the things I’m thinking about so if you actually want to hear about it, please tell me. Otherwise, no gory foot-placement details.