Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Good Question!

"Are you a good husband to your wife, ma'am?"

I was asked this by a flower vendor yesterday. You see, we gay people don't just "come out" once. Common misconception. We decide every day in ways large and small whether it feels safe to disclose our sexual orientation to people.

As time goes by I feel more and more free to just state the facts. Not care what others might think. And being a gay parent pretty much forces you out of the closet anyway. Susanne and I are "out" to basically everyone we know, but often we can just "see the wheels turning" as people who meet us try and make sense of everything.

So yesterday I was walking home from work and decided to buy my sweetie some flowers. A very nice vendor, originally I'm guessing from central Europe, was chit chatting with me as I looked over all the bouquets. Out of the blue he asked me "who are these for?" I think he wanted to know to help me pick based on what he figured a mom or grandma or whomever might like.

"They are for my partner" I said, then more bravely "for my wife". (I didn't want him to think I was a lawyer and they were for a partner in a law firm after all ;-)

He stopped his chatter, looked me straight in the eye and asked me "Are you a good husband to your wife, ma'am?"

How do you answer that? I could have gotten into the fact that we are each other's wives--no need for the word husband etc.. but that wasn't necessary. His question was very sweet and genuine. So I said, "well, I'm buying her flowers, so I think the answer is yes!" He selected a beautiful bouquet of white and red roses and then added two more as he wrapped them up.

"These are for your wife, ma'am."

Who knows, maybe he has a gay child? Maybe he himself is a closeted gay man? Maybe he just thought it was just another way that we "wacky Americans" are? Maybe none of the above. I don't know. But I know that we both left the conversation happy and smiling. I felt simply...you know...gay!
(As an additional note I'll add that the picture of flowers in this post was taken by Su in Dublin. Doesn't it make you smile too?) -Monica

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