One of the joys of Facebook is that it gives you a glimpse into a side of your family’s private life that you don’t often get to see.
For instance, I didn’t know the national anthem chokes up my nephew — a self-described playah. Conversely my family no longer thinks I run around Vancouver in a feather boa calling everyone “Blanche.”
“Who’s that girl in your photo album?” my niece asked, referring to my neighbour.
“That’s my girlfriend.”
“I thought so!”
“As in gurl-friend. She’s gay.”
“But she’s so pretty.”
Has Ellen Degeneres taught heterosexuals nothing?
Were it not so ridiculous, I would have been upset that my niece still held out hope I might be straight. Just when I thought we had crossed the line from tolerance to equals I am once again reminded that in my family’s eyes, I’m still less than a man.
I told my neighbour about the conversation and she said, “Funny you should say that. My mother has not stopped asking about you since you helped me move.”
My neighbour’s mother was grateful that I more or less single-handedly carried her daughter’s possessions up two flights of stairs and then lent her a chair and some dishes. What the gays call community, mothers call husband material.
Our relationship makes some of our friends nervous. One of mine asked me when I was going to start dating guys again; one of hers invited me on a date with them like I was her chaperone.
“How are people coming to these conclusions?” I asked, while I was painting her nails.
“Well,” she said. “We run errands together, go on short trips, talk about our feelings a lot and don’t have sex.”
“So? I did none of those things with my wife and I was married to a lesbian.”
“Face it,” she said. “The only thing separating you from a lesbian girlfriend is a U-Haul.”
I thought it was socks and sandals.
Lately I’ve been looking into co-ops. I told my neighbour how the one I really want to apply to isn’t taking applications for one-bedrooms and they require a minimum of two people per two-bedroom.
“I’ll apply with you!”
“You would?” I had considered asking her but was afraid it might be too forward. Going to the store is one thing; moving in is another thing altogether. “You’re not saying that to please your mother are you?”
We discussed the implications co-habitation would have on our love lives (her love life; I just have sex), the nature of relationships and the meaning of love. We decided that all we are looking for from each other is cheap rent.
Now to break the news to my family that I’m really a lesbian.