Happy 25th Anniversary NCOD! Back to regularly scheduled poetry after this real life break.
I was telling my mother earlier this week, that it always makes for a heightened internal dialogue, when I’m in a relationship on National Coming Out Day. While I think it’s important to mark the day whether single or not, coupledom adds weight to it, for me.
Last week, I was leaving the office on my way to a meeting, and a young man stopped me to ask for change for the bus. I was rummaging in my purse already looking for something, so I couldn’t really refuse. I gave him 4 quarters and hoped that would be the end of it. Then he asked if I had a lighter. I said no. Again, I started walking away hoping our business was through. Then he said something that always stops me short (in the sense that I don’t understand why anyone has the audacity to so rudely throw this at a person) “You got a husband?”
“No,” I said, smirking a little despite myself. “You got a man?” And this time I replied, “Yes!” quite emphatically, hoping the hammer of that word would shut this kid up. He went on to tell me what a beautiful physique I had, and say that he wanted to walk me to my meeting so that I “wouldn’t get bothered” (what, pray tell, did he think his unwanted advances could be classified as?)
When I finally lost him and got to my meeting and recounted the tale to laughs all around (that’s a whole other story, the story of how “Yes I’ve got a man” is the only answer some men will take, and some won’t even take that). After the meeting as I was getting a ride home from a friend he said, “I overheard you telling everyone you’ve got a boyfriend. Is that true, or were you just saying it to get that guy off your back?” When I told him, yes, it’s actually the truth, he said, “Wow, you really are a switch hitter, aren’t you?”
Now, there are people in my life who are surprised to be reminded I’ve ever loved a girl, because they’ve only ever seen me with men.
And there are people who are surprised to find me with a man, assuming that the right girl was going to come along at any moment.
But I just looked over at him and wanted to scream, “BISEXUAL, REMEMBER?” I’ve grown weary of the time of my life where my romantic proclivities are fodder for everyone else’s conversation, be it educational or nosy in nature. Yet this year’s NCOD theme is “Coming out still matters.” And I guess that’s a lesson I need to take to heart right now. I love it when it works out like that, and it seems to do that alot. Every year I get less enthused about writing this NCOD blog post, but then I see the theme and suddenly I can relate it to something in my life and it becomes so easy again.
My boyfriend’s got a thing for bisexuals, you know. I don’t think it happens on purpose, but maybe there’s something to be said for that. But I’ve had the conversation with him just like I’ve had with people of all stripes and walks of life, that being bisexual does not mean I need one of each gender. But I’m not running from this label anymore, because if I do, all the negative stereotypes around it are just going to continue.
I continue to hold out hope, possibly naively, that someday (soon) my love life isn’t going to warrant so much commentary and love will out, as it were.
I’ll see you there.