On this day of infamy

This day shall live on in infamy as I stayed up until five in the morning, and then had my beauty sleep interrupted by two dogs, a husband, an aunt and a visiting cousin. At eight thirty I had to get up again, and I had to become sociable in two minutes flat from the moment I opened my eyes.

If you knew me well in real life, you would understand what a challenge this was. I usually need at least half an hour to get going, if I am lubricated well with strong tea. But in two minutes? That’s asking too much.

A very grumpy Colin came down to the kitchen to be nice to people who could have rung days in advance to announce their visit and not conspire with my so-called husband, who is supposed to understand and support me and let me sleep, by ringing him an hour before arrival.

Did I get that understanding and support? Of course not. I got a pat on the head, and an admonition to go to bed at normal hours. He also said it was my fault. And no sympathy from Auntie and her daughter either. I swear, I’m living with a bunch of Colin-haters who probably plan these things in advance for the most impact.

Sometimes I think that I should crawl under the bed and hide, and when people come close I would growl and bite. And whip any groping hand with a shoe. The only problem with this plan is that Watson would likely think it was a fun game, and he’d join me and lick my face. Not even the dogs respect me.

Okay, I exaggerate, a little bit. I admit it. But like Bilbo said to Frodo, right now I feel like too little butter spread out over too large a sandwich. And Auntie and the cousin left only an hour ago, and I had to be nice and pleasant and social the whole time, and pretend that I didn’t want to run back up to bed and sleep.

Coming out all over again – again

Earlier this evening someone reminded me that we homosexuals have to come out all the time. Not in the big speech and huge announcement over Christmas or Easter dinner sort of thing, but in everyday life when people make assumptions that have to be corrected.

In the last week, for instance, I’ve come out twice to new people I’ve met. Once to a fellow my age, well a couple of years older, who I had to tell that I was married to Mark. Another was a casual conversation I had with a staffer at school who reminisced that being young meant being single and care-free. I had to tell him I wasn’t single, and then I had to correct his assumption that I had a girlfriend.

So, gay people have to come out all the time in the to and fro between people you meet. Humans, pattern seekers that we are, make assumptions all the time, and we always generalise. When one belongs to a small snippet of a demographic, one has to accept that people generalise you into the larger group of heterosexuals.

I only have to correct those assumptions not to live a lie, and show a little understanding about the generalisations. I don’t really mind, because I recognise it for what it is. It is the human thing to do. But that doesn’t stop it from being, sometimes, really funny.

A devious mind could enjoy seeing the confusion, and slight panic, of people as they go back through their dealings with me to see if they had at any point displayed any homophobic tendencies. No gay jokes; no references to dropped soaps; no use of the word ‘gay’ as meaning bad. Or it could just be seeing the jumbling up of all their assumptions, and how they – surely once again – learn about the dangers of drawing conclusions based on little data.

Still, I recognise that as a gay person, I will have to come out all over again. And again. And again. And it will probably be like that for the rest of my life.