Home > MaCHAMP! > Affirmative.

Affirmative.

Since getting my hair cut, I’ve increasingly been read as a butch correctly, and it’s a great, great, GREAT feeling.  For example, I just came from the tailor, where I was getting some pants taken in, and as he fiddled with the leg and how much I wanted in, he said, “Aha! Like a men’s trouser.” Yes, exactly!  What a good tailor.

I also had an amusing experience yesterday.  After work, many of my co-workers went out for drinks, as it was someone’s last day and we wanted to wish them well.  S, one of my peers, and I went over to the bar to get our drinks, and as we approached the bar, I asked what she was getting, signaled the bartender, and ordered our drinks.  I also paid.  The bar was busy so it kind of took us a while to get served after putting our order in.  While we were waiting, this rather drunk gentleman, who must have been in his 70s, catches our eye, leans in and says, “Girls…let me tell you something.  Boys your age SUCK.” I was fully prepared for the “Try someone a little older” line, so I kind of laughed and said, “Yep.”  He asked if we were sisters.  At this point, I knew what was coming.  Have other lesbians, bi, queer folk noticed that before asking if you’re dating someone, people tend to ask if you’re related?  Maybe that’s just my experience.  Well, that’s what happened.  “How long have you two been dating?” “Oh, we’re not dating.” “Really? But you’re lesbians.”

I’m sure this is already well documented in queer theory, the assumption that we tend to come in groups.  Of course S would never be entertained as a lesbian if she hadn’t been with me.  It’s just the first time that anyone has seen me as the bellwether for a group.  I’m like the rainmaker, only I’m the gay-inmaker.

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Categories: MaCHAMP!
  1. May 13, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Have other lesbians, bi, queer folk noticed that before asking if you’re dating someone, people tend to ask if you’re related?

    It’s definitely a thing. It happens to my mom and her partner a lot — I think it’s that people can see they are connected but heterocentrism prevents people from seeing they’re a couple. I thought my girlfriend and I were immune to do this due to our dissimilar appearance (I am the perfect picture of a Sephardic Jew, she the epitome of WASP; also maybe the butch/femme thing helps?), but not too long ago someone asked her if I was her little brother, ha.

    Congratulations on the butch visibility! A great great GREAT feeling indeed. :)

  2. May 13, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Blockquote fail! The first paragraph is, of course, from the original post.

    • May 19, 2010 at 11:11 am

      Ha, I got that. I think you are right on, about people seeing the connection but not knowing why it exists.

      Oh, little brother. I was at a wedding this weekend, and I was the only person carded. Even 17 year olds were being served wine without being asked for id. I suspect they thought I was 13.

  3. May 14, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    I have gotten the “are you sisters” thing with many gfs over the years. Blech! I hate that! Generally, my exes are people on the andro-butch spectrum and even queers don’t assume we’re together…

  4. May 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    My partner and I get everything other than girlfriend. She’s older than me, so we get mother/daughter, aunt/niece, mother/daughter-in-law (pfft, heteronormativity!) most frequently. The first time I went into work with her and someone at an office asked “is that your daughter?” I almost ran out to the car and cried.
    I’d like a little visibility every once in a while, please!

    • May 19, 2010 at 11:10 am

      That just sounds terrible. I would be motified if someone asked that. And then, of course, there’s that added layer where people think women are ashamed of their age. Like it used to be when I was out with my mother, someone would say, “Are you two sisters?” with a winking eye, as if my mom was somehow embarrassed to be seen as my mother.

      Visibility, served on a steaming platter, for you to eat and enjoy. Yum.

  5. G
    May 17, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Half the time people assume I’m dating the woman with whom I’m standing, whether she’s gay, straight, bi, whatever. My best friend and I have been described as a lovely couple many times.

    Visibility is so nice, though. I don’t take it for granted one bit. Congrats on first time, and here’s to many more.

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