Saturday, March 30, 2013

Talking the Talk, part one

I am, for the most part, pretty open about my sexuality. I mean, I don't walk around wearing a t-shirt that says "Hi, I'm gay" at all times, but I talk about Christopher as my partner a lot, and I'm not afraid to speak up about issues when they arise.

And, yes, I admit that - as with any other topics - there are times when I let things slide. Usually, that happens in situations where someone I don't know says something completely stupid. So I don't jump down someone's throat when he/she says "That's so gay" in a derogatory way. And I don't automatically start talking about marriage rights in the middle of an unrelated conversation.

But, even so, twice in the past two days I've had the chance to say something - and I'm happy to say that I've actually done it.

Yesterday, at work, we had a staff lunch, and someone was talking about a reality TV host that she really likes. And a few other people were saying they liked him, too. And when I said I didn't, they asked why. I could have said I didn't like his style of presenting - or that he just rubbed me the wrong way. But I didn't. I actually said "Because he's been quoted as saying - and doing - some incredibly homophobic things." While that made the conversation falter for a few moments, and while I don't know that it made a difference in anyone's opinions, I'm pretty proud of myself for saying it.

Today was a different story. I was out getting my hair cut, and the woman was carrying on a nice conversation. She was probably about 10 years older than me, and after commenting that she would be spending Easter with her mother, her daughter, and her granddaughter, she asked what I would be doing. And I said I'd be spending it with my partner and his family.

I make comments like that a lot in retail situations. And I tend to watch for reactions - not because I'm trying to shock people, but because I'm trying to see what shift happens. It's usually right behind people's eyes as they try to figure out what's going on. When I'm getting a haircut, though, my glasses are off and I'm blind as a bat. So I just had to trust that she wasn't going to drop the scissors and snip off my ear. Instead, though, she asked how long we'd been together and whether we often spend holidays with his family. And I got a good haircut, to boot.

I know it's silly, and that it shouldn't really matter, but that's my own "we're all around - no need to be afraid" crusade. So I'll just keep talking my talk - one conversation at a time.

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