« on: Yesterday at 02:44:39 am »
I was in a bar in Chicago when I told a close friend of 20 years that, despite being a lesbian, I was marrying a man. My friend and I hadn’t seen each other in a while, but we fell back quickly into our old intimacy — those long, rambling conversations we used to have in coffee shops all over Minneapolis. When the subject shifted to an activist group she was part of, I said I’d be glad to help, if they needed a lesbian on their board. She laughed, dismissively. “You can’t call yourself that anymore.”
Of all the weird reactions I’d gotten to my engagement, that one pissed me off most.
I had not been not surprised when my fiancé’s friends — Washington insiders with the respect for convention that city inspires — expressed shock when they discovered I was a dyke. We came from different worlds; with my long brunette hair and short skirts, I hadn’t read as queer to them. But no one had presumed to relabel me, to retrofit me to their categories — at least, not to my face.
But here was my fabulous Portland pal, trying to claim me for the Bi-Het team (which sounded like a synagogue rather than a sexual identity, and certainly not my own). She wasn’t the only one: An ex-girlfriend and a sophisticated poet cousin said the same thing, as if my lesbian license had been revoked.
So let me be clear, since I can’t be the only one: I am a lesbian marrying a man.
This is not semantics, or splitting hairs; it is fundamental to who we are — my fiancé and I. Immutable as height or eye color.