3 min

A honey by any other name

Sweethearts, sugar mommies & husbears, oh my!

Dann Mitton & Bob Nesbitt Credit: RJ Martin

Karine Silverwoman& Jordan B Applebaum

Ages: Undisclosed
Length of relationship: One year, two months (but almost two years since we first shagged)

How do you refer to each other in queer company?
Silverwoman: Big flaming homo, man-whore, boy-toy, husband, wife, dork, partner in crime, soft butch, hard butch, private butch, hard to read butch, the BF, my little perfectionist

Applebaum: Karine, girlfriend, my sweets, my little Jew, my rebellious radical macho-femme, my woman, my baby, my sweetheart, my indecisive Sagittarian girlfriend, my private dancer

In straight company?
Silverwoman: A close friend that I have exciting personal moments with, a live-in roommate that happens to sleep in my bed and leaves marks on my neck, a boyfriend who sometimes uses the pronoun she, my mistress, my secretary, my personal trainer, my bi-curious male fantasy, my partner in crime, undercover cop who sleeps in my bed, my religious mentor, partner, lover, my co-man-hater, my impregnator, my femme, my sweetheart

Applebaum: The girl I push up against the wall and please really hard between her… oops, I mean, an acquaintance I know who was helping me search for the perfect man to be my nice Jewish husband

What would it take for you to refer to your partner as husband/wife?
Applebaum: Millions and millions of dollars

Silverwoman: About $15.

“I don’t really think we need to get married to proclaim our love or show our commitment toward one another,” says Applebaum. “We don’t need the government’s approval.”

Todd Sweet& Tom Wright

Ages: 40, 46
Length of relationship: 16 years

How do you refer to each other in queer company?
Does bitch count? My hubby, usually

In straight company?
Usually with straight friends that know us well we would refer to each other as partner. Our families would usually prefer that we call each other friend, as in, “How’s your friend doing?”

In formal situations?
That would depend on the shock value required. If they are in the dark and you really want to test the waters we refer to each other as “my husband.” The looks and raised eyebrows can be well worth it. Otherwise we still use partner. It is amazing the positive reactions that we get from the straight world

What would it take for you to refer to your partner as husband/wife?
We are still getting use to the term of husband ourselves. We often still catch ourselves referring to each other as “my partner,” though, having been married for a year now, it’s getting a little easier.

“Neither of us would intentionally hurt those we love by pushing our ‘lifestyle’ on them if they are not willing to accept it.”

Negar & Natasha

Ages: 33, 30
Length of relationship: three years, two months

How do you refer to each other in queer company?
Wife, girlfriend, boss, sugar mommy

In straight company?
To straight friends, wife and girlfriend. To family, just friend

Has same-sex marriage affected what you call each other?
No, we called each other wife before that

Cute nicknames?
Mamacita, baby, pumpkin, boobie, honey, baba and many more.

“I was talking to a coworker about going on vacation,” says Natasha. “She asked who I was going with and I said my girlfriend. ‘Oh, you’re going with your girlfriend. Not with your hubby?’ ‘I don’t have a hubby… I have a girlfriend.’ After a slight moment of recognition she says, ‘Oh, that’s cool. I’m from Vancouver!'”

Dann Mitton& Bob Nesbitt

Ages: 33, 40
Length of relationship: Hard to say. Met Nov 3, 1996; covenanted Oct 3, 1998; legally married Oct 3, 2004

How do you refer to each other in queer company?
Nesbitt: Husband, MyDann
Mitton: Husband, with a capital H, like Mom or Dad

In straight company?

In formal situations?
Nesbitt: Husband to some. Partner or spouse if it’s a coworker situation where it’s a new contact. If I’m going to be working with that person in the long term, I will incorporate gender-specific words into my language

Mitton: Husband. I’m more in your face about staking my claim as an empowered gay man in the workplace

What labels make you cringe?
Nesbitt: Boyfriend, roommate, significant other. “Friend” makes us both cringe

Mitton: I also hate husbear. Gross. When people refer to Bob as my “friend” I just flip

Has same-sex marriage affected what you call each other?
No. We just feel more of a sense of entitlement to the H-word now

Cute nicknames?
Nesbitt: Snugglebunnybaby, honey, sweetie (anything from Ab Fab), you, as in “hey you”

Mitton: Bello, Bobby, Mister, Husband, Bobo (pronounced beau-beau).

“People assume when I tell them I’m married that I’m married to a woman,” says Mitton. “It’s great with telemarketers, too: they’ll ask for Mrs Nesbitt, and in my best bass-baritone I’ll answer, ‘Speaking.'”