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Thursday, May 7, 2009

For about five minutes I was a lesbian

It finally happened.
Using the term "partner" for Toyin, my co-parent and the father of my daughter, made it appear to someone that I am a lesbian.
To clarify, I don't mind lesbians. I have had, over the years, plenty of gay friends. But I am not gay.
It was pretty amusing. I always imagine that most people in my age group, like me, enjoy having gay friends. It makes us hipper, more diverse, and appearing to be very open-minded. How cool to go to a playgroup with a lesbian and her bi-racial baby! Now that's some serious points on the diversity scale. My new friend is, I believe, Asian, so maybe she cares less about that than me.
Here's what happened.
After a few months of haggling with calling Toyin my boyfriend (which he's not, but it's easier); trying to refer to him as Annika's dad; or just using his name and leaving off any modifier, I finally settled on calling him my partner while speaking of him to people who don't know us very well.
I knew it could be confusing to some people since it's common for gay couples to refer to their significant others as partners, so I always tried to make sure I referred to him as Annika's dad or use a male pronoun before I used the term "my partner." But I have gotten so comfortable using the term, that, without any forethought, I casually mentioned him as my partner to a woman I had just met in a playgroup.
After a couple minutes of talking she asked me if I had Annika with my partner or with someone else.
"What an odd question," I thought to myself as I answered her that, no, I had Annika with my current partner.
About ten seconds later it hit me and I smirked.
"She thinks I'm a lesbian," I realized.
Hee hee hee.
For a few minutes I felt like a very hip, urban stay-at-home mom lesbian whose partner was probably some sort creative type, a commercial photographer, a music producer or something like that who made lots of money to support her little bi-racial baby and breastfeeding lover.
In my head, if I was gay, my partner would be super cool, with lots of tattoos and piercings. I don't know why, because most gay people I know don't have any more tatts or piercings than anyone else I know, but it's my fantasy, so I can do what I want.
But alas, the fairy tale came to an end when I finally decided to tell her a little about Toyin and made sure to use male pronouns a lot.
She didn't seem disappointed. Hopefully, my coolness is still high up there since I am an unmarried mom to a black baby.
I remember a day and a place when that would have just made me a slut.

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