Pride and bruises

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.



a photo of truman to break up the monotony of all the words!


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.



Filed under gay, Roller Derby

8 responses to “Pride and bruises

  1. i wanna see! melon sized?!!! you are hard core. and to be honest, i’m a little scared.

    and if that woman does become unfriendly… well, screw her.

    and now i want a new cat.

  2. More wedding blogs need pictures of ass bruises.

    I feel like I can pick up pretty quickly and easily on people’s sexual inclinations, from gay to masochist to submissive to etc. It may simply be that I’m more aware of my own inclinations and so can recognize the hum in others, so maybe combining your theory, those who identify as gay have to more aggressively grasp their sexuality than those who identify as heterosexual (since that tends to be viewed as the default). I’m sure there are things outside my personal hum that I’m entirely missing too.

    But yeah, bring on the ass bruises please.

    • Ooh good point! If we spend so much time analyzing our (different) choices/attributes, it probably does make it easier to recognize similar choices/attributes in other people.

      And I tried taking a picture of my bruise! But it just didn’t come out on my phone. I’ll wait till it gets darker.

  3. You looked totally great last night, and I’m SO psyched that you’re trying out for the derbz 😀 😀 😀

    Also, I think it’s awesome that you came out to someone at work. It’s weird that we live in a society where you have to wonder whether it’s okay to tell someone about your wife. Your WIFE. If that woman has a problem with you because the person you love and have chosen to spend your life with is a pretty lady, then WTF. Ugh.

  4. cmc

    1. Gay-dar, yes.
    2. person formally known as S-boo-08 once referred to me as her fiancee just to avoid pronouns… really effed up in multiple ways in hind sight
    3. I can only strive to be as brave and strong and full as love as you with the daily coming-outs… wow, I mean, I still come out too sometimes… and it only gets harder for me in the past couple of years (like, I have to remember that it has to be for the whole gay community instead of being for me or my relationship).

    Can’t wait to see you soon and talk more. Gosh, I feel like we should have an agenda so we don’t miss any important bits 🙂

  5. Ha ha. If that lady is mean to you now, well I agree with Angie- screw her! And yay for you for being honest. And um, just for being. (a badass derby girl) Yay! Sometimes I forget just how much I LOVE coming out, so I’m glad you reminded me. I especially LOVEd coming out to the mean lady at the bank who raised her eyebrows and scowled when I mentioned my wife. Oh no I didn’t. So screw her too. And yay for us!

  6. Go girl! Come out to those folks so they can’t claim they don’t know anyone gay! And way to get out your skates and practice! I’m so excited for you.

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