Monday, September 6, 2010

Life as a Dyke

It’s still new to me, this lifestyle that I’ve finally accepted after years of self denial. Things I never gave a second thought to, now get second, third, and fourth thoughts. Things like holding hands.

In public.

Where people, people who aren’t my family, can see us.

That simple act is one I took for granted when my ex and I were married (at least in the first years of our marriage, back when he didn’t mind being seen holding the hand of a large woman). But now, when my partner and I go to the grocery store, there is a little bit of fumbling and quick-release moments that drive me crazy.

Oh, she’s fine with the whole public displays of couple-ness, it’s me. I’m a chicken shit. I dislike confrontation. Confrontation makes me shrill and incapable of sounding like a semi-intelligent human being. When confronted by someone who is determined to share their opinions of my lifestyle, I tend to wind up sounding like a demented dolphin on crack.

Probably because I’m a total coward. It’s easier to just shriek and freak than state my feelings calmly and rationally. At least I’ve managed to control the windmilling arms effect. That was never a good thing to do to strangers who foisted their opinions on me.

Still, I’d love to be able to walk around with my sweetie and not worry that someone is going to make a scene, or worse.

It’s the “or worse” that really makes me cautious. We may live in an enlightened society for the most part, but there are some folks who just turn their backs when it comes to justice for gays. To be perfectly honest here, I’m very allergic to having the shit beat out of me for the simple reason that I am a lesbian.

Being “out” in public gives me the same sensation that I get every time I come out to someone; it’s a jittery, “how are they going to take this” kind of feeling. It never gets easier, simply because every situation is different. Every situation has the potential to go either really well, or really bad. I know some day my being an “out” lesbian is not going sit right with someone and there will be confrontation. I’m going to have to choose to walk away, spazz out, or stand my ground.

I pray to the Goddess that I will have the strength and courage to stand my ground.


  1. First of all, you are much stronger and braver than you give yourself credit for. Secondly, those who force their opinion on you don't deserve any more than the sight of your back as you walk away. People like that don't/won't understand or accept any view outside of their own so any discussion is a waste of time anyway.

    Hugs to you both! Sagacious Woman (Can I keep that name?)

  2. I agree with Sagacious Woman. It hurts me that this messed up world of ours makes it so difficult for people just to be themselves. It angers me quite a lot. I have a few gay friends who occasionally get looked at and whispered at in public and I live in Sydney which supposedly is the second largest gay capital in the world after San Francisco. You'd think people would be used to two men or two women holding hands in public by now.

    I understand how hard it must be, Karen. Prejudice is a scary thing to face day after day. It can wear you down. But you are strong enough and you can do it. And I am behind you 100%.

  3. I totally feel you here. I've been with my partner for almost seven years... and I'm just recently comfortable with PDAs. Mostly due to the fact that I don't particularly LIKE being stared at... at least not like THAT. -_- #

    One thing I've come to realize, however, is that unless people see my partner & I as real people, as something more than just "lesbians" or "unconventional" or "punks" or whatever they're currently labeling me as, I will never be given the same common courtesies afforded others.

    So. It's my silent rebellion. My silent protest. But my silence screams. It cannot be ignored. We hold hands, we walk arm & arm. We sit snuggled on a park bench & watch the sun as it sets.
    Every person who looks upon us & sees the love that flows like an energy field around us now knows. I love her. She loves me. We're ok being us. And I don't give a flying f%ck what they think. And they are forced to see us as human. As real people.
    I dislike the thought of confrontation... I do not look forward to it, as some do, but have come to terms with it's possibility. We've had less than great experiences with people, but on the whole, those have been few & far between.

    I'm rambling, I think, sorry about such a long comment, but what I'm getting around to saying is that I think you are one of the bravest women I have ever run across. You mention that you're a coward, but it takes guts & then some to turn from everything you know, everything that's comfortable & familiar to be yourself. To be happy. Be proud of yourself. You are an amazing woman!
    Comfort in public will come in time. But like all things uncomfortable, the more you practice, the easier it gets. ^-^

    Oh yes... I'm simply delighted to hear that you found your sink! I love finding bits of my house I've thought were gone forever... =D

  4. *hugs*
    Yeah, living in a small town is not the best thing I've ever experienced either... My Partner & I lived in Lynden, WA for a while (she grew up there), but happily we've moved to Bellingham as of a few years ago. Still not terribly big, but much better than Lynden... So. Many. Churches...
    'nuf said...

    Here's to hoping we can find the community we're seeking. And if it as of yet doesn't exist, than creating our own. ^-^


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