2 min

Would you like cream with that?

My friend Meg came out to me again and again and again

Credit: Xtra files

Meg and I had always been friendly, but we became close when we sat next to each other in our grade 11 math class.

Our teacher gave us generous amounts of time for individual problem solving, time which, had we used it for math, could have led us both to entirely different post-secondary education programs. Instead, we are both pursuing bachelor of arts degrees.

We used our individual problem-solving time to talk. And when we couldn’t cram all the things we wanted to say into the course of a math class, we would find other places to talk: a school hallway, someone’s home or a coffee shop. But our favourite was a coffee shop, and that’s where Meg came out to me.

There is a look that I have become familiar with after years of wearing a kilt, tie and knee socks to school, and it often comes from little old ladies. It says, “You must be a moral, upstanding young person because you attend a fine Christian educational institution.”

It’s a look I have not often deserved. Meg and I got that look that day, from a woman who sat down behind Meg, so only I could see her and smile back sweetly.

Although the woman was trying to look like she wasn’t listening to our conversation, I saw her face drop when Meg came out and then came out again and again over the same cup of coffee.

I don’t know whether it reflects on my liberal nature or just my own self-centredness, but I didn’t react. Or at least, my reaction fell short of what Meg had been expecting. She remembers me saying something along the lines of, “That’s nice. Anyway, back to me.” But she just kept at it until she was almost yelling, “I’m trying to tell you something! I have a girlfriend!”

By this point, the woman’s face looked as if we had just professed a liking for the taste of fried baby. She banged her coffee cup on the table and left.

We were so delighted with her response to our conversation that we began a tour of the city’s coffee shops. (We made a rule not to return to any one twice, after an incident wherein Meg was describing an intimate moment, the loud background music came to an end, and all that could be heard was Meg saying, “…cunt.”) Our tour has led to many interesting conversations. On one of our first expeditions, I was given the cherished title of honourary dyke.

Another time Meg was debating whether to come out to her parents, but the woman serving us thought Meg was talking about taking a year off between high school and university.

“It’s a great idea!” she chimed in. “I’m so glad I did it! It’s really helped me grow as a person.”

Unfortunately, Meg and I spent most of last year apart, while I was at university and she was completing her final year of high school. I think it is because Meg and I are so accustomed to spilling our guts to each other that we never seem to have any problem picking up where we’ve left off.

When I returned from university, Meg was so busy that the first chance we got to spend time together was at the Dyke March. As we were both Dyke March virgins (and forever destined to be in long distance relationships), it seemed appropriate for us to be each other’s date. We danced the entire march route and spent the rest of the day sitting on various curbs, talking and not caring who heard.