the Trigger-happy housewife

Bringing the constantly fantastic and painfully insane together daily!

“She is MY daughter, her mother is my wife.”

on June 3, 2015

The following is a conversation I recently had, quoted to the best of my ability to recall it. I admit the details get a little fuzzy as I the conversation evolves and my anxiety rises. I do want to make sure that I clarify that the woman I was talking to was very sweet and kind and friendly. I am NOT writing this to talk about her AT ALL – I am writing it to talk about what I go through almost weekly and this just happened to be a recent and perfect example.

A couple of weeks ago I brought the girls to a field trip arranged by a local homeschooling group. It was our first time joining in and I was excited and nervous. It sounds funny for me to nervous, but it means new people and new people mean coming out – AGAIN. To add to an already anxious situation I know that a lot of these women go to local churches and, though I am an avid churcher and I love God and I love other Christians, the truth is that in today’s climate there are some “christians” that are mean and cruel and aggressive. I am always more wary when it involves my kids, so it was that I was nervous as I stood there waiting for others to show up.

Everything was going great, the people were friendly as people down here are. I had relaxed, joked, mingled and then it happened.

Her: (Looking at my second child.) She must look like her dad.

Me: (VERY uncomfortable. At this point if it is a stranger that I will never see I generally say, “Yep.” However, this is a woman I may befriend in time, our kids may play, I would like a group of homeschoolers to do fun things with.) She looks like her mom.

Her: Oh, so she’s your step daughter?

Me: No, she looks like her bio mom – she is my daughter.

Her: Did y’all adopt or are you her foster mother?

Me: (I want to cry and to leave and, a little, to throw up. I want this to stop so my daughter doesn’t hear this. I want the world to be a better place, where I feel safe because I am safe, not because I am hiding in my cocoon of acceptance.) She is MY daughter, her mother is my wife.

Her: Oh! OH! I’m sorry, look at me! You must get that, though…

We kind of talk over each other, me trying to make her comfortable and hating myself for it. After that she kind of avoids me, or am I avoiding her? I don’t know. Maybe she is staying away because she is embarrassed or maybe because I am a lesbian, heck it could be that I am staying away out of concern that the conversation isn’t over. At this point I don’t know.

If you can’t imagine the word brave being used in relation to Caitlyn Jenner then you have probably never known the fear and discomfort of coming out. As a femme lesbian I am faced with this virtually each time I meet someone new – and it doesn’t get easier. Some might think “get over it, it’s no big deal” and if that is how you feel that’s awesome, but when you assume that someone is straight you create an uncomfortable situation I can’t just get over – I have to come out, yet again. I have had people feel lied to because I didn’t clarify that I was married to a woman. I have had other’s feel like I talk about my gay too much when I did clarify, because they didn’t mind interacting with me as a straight person but when I explain that I am married to a woman (because they assumed I meant man when I said married) they feel uncomfortable. I have had people completely change how they interact with me. It happens all the time.

If you don’t see the big deal in this then you probably don’t have to worry about being kicked out of businesses, turned down for or fired from a job, getting verbally or physically assaulted due to who you are attracted to. Congratulations, you are blessed in ways you may never truly understand.

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One response to ““She is MY daughter, her mother is my wife.”

  1. Deidre says:

    I wanted to respond to this, not because I have any insight. I just wish, so much, that the world we live in, afforded you the opportunity to not feel like every conversation is a “coming out”. That a mistake, could lead to a greater connection between 2 Moms instead of both of you being so uncomfortable.

    You see, one of my Mom worries is that my children don’t have a broad enough experience of the world. I would be grateful to offer my children another family experience. I miss the glaring facets of all kinds of humans I experienced in NYC. I do worry my kids aren’t getting enough of that here in South Jersey.

    The point here, if I have one, the moment this woman understood her mistake, was the pivotal moment. This could have been a moment when you learned that it’s not always “coming out”, sometimes it’s just getting to know a person better. And instead of her discomfort and uncertainty, it was the moment her children met a new family, with a different point of view.

    On the other hand, I really would have never made the mistake this woman did. I just don’t mention another parent until the one standing in front of me does. There are not always 2 parents alive, together, different genders. They could be be missing in action, they may have taken off, or be in a coma. It’s bad manners to assume a woman with a child as a male parent that is involved.

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