Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Come On Out

One of our neighbors in the business center stops by to chat just about every day. He hangs out with the guys and talks fishing, hunting and bullshit. He's a really nice guy and I enjoy talking to him, too.

Today's conversation:

Al: Do you have any dogs?

Jim: Yeah, we have had several golden retrievers. Bud was "my dog." He went everywhere with me. Wasn't afraid of anything. Loved everyone....except other dogs. We were friends with these two lesbians that lived down the street from us that had a rottweiler that Bud hated...


DEAFENING SILENCE



The kind of silence that seems to last a lifetime.



It seemed to just hang there. That word.


Lesbian.


Because although everyone here at the family business *knows* that I'm a lesbian, no one says the word or talks about it. And that's fine with me. We don't talk about their sexuality either.

Shortly after the eternal silence, Jim was leaving and I was going to walk up to his office to have his wife notarize something for me. Halfway to his office....

Me: Jim, the reason everyone's eyes got big and everyone went silent is because I'm a lesbian.


Jim: Oh, okay. I'm sorry, I hope you weren't offended. I work with so many people in the design industry that it's commonplace. I certainly don't have anything against it.


Me: Not a problem. I'm not easily offended. I just thought you should know why everyone acted like they did.


It's been a very long time since I came out to someone. I just think that it's kind of dishonest if I don't. Not to them....to me. And I never again want to be dishonest with myself. Does that make sense?




33 comments:

Desert Rat said...

I think the single most difficult person with whom to be honest is ourselves. Absolutely, that makes sense.

Hammer said...

It's like saying I'm friends with a couple of jews, or asians or jehovas..not really necessary but there is a segment of our population that speaks plainly and explicity for some reason.

I just say "friends' without describing them in full detail.

Beth said...

makes TOTAL sense.

XOXOXOX

Micky-T said...

You got it right....
good for you for telling him, if someone else had, he might have worried that he offended you.

Scarlet said...

It makes perfect sense, but the way the conversation grew quiet...I wish that kind of thing would just stop.

rage said...

I can't believe he said that...

Matt-Man said...

If you felt that you were being dishonest with yourself than you have to do whatever it takes to set yourself, um...straight...um, so to speak. Cheers!!

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Good for you. I'm sure Jim meant no predjuice by it, although I just looked up the word lesbian and it is both an adjective and a noun...Interesting.
Was it a necessary adjective?
In any case you are secure in the knowledge of who you are and Jim and those around you can only respect that.

Good for you

g-man said...

That makes total sense.

Although I'm a little surprised at the reaction from everyone, it is not like he said "Damned lesbians" or something like that. Although I suppose if you dont really talk about it at work then I can see where it might be somewhat taboo.

I'd have asked if the lesbians were hot :)

13messages said...

It makes beautiful sense. Although, as G-man said, it's the silence in the room that was odd. His statement alone, while descriptively unnecessary, seemed pretty harmless.

Have a nice day.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

ooops, I thought at first you were upset 'cause they didn't like the rottweiler!

burnedbutawesome said...

I heart Jim. He just puts it out there, no thought or malice behind it, like just another walk in the park. Like everybody else said, the silence is really what grinds my gears.

And it absolutely makes sense. I have the same mantra: never going into the closet again for anybody for any reason. The dishonesty stops with me.

Laura said...

It makes perfect sense.

And its true...as soon as the word "lesbian" comes out - it just HANGS there!

All we want is to be treated normally...and fit in just like everyone else! No different!

Biscuit said...

Absolutely, it makes sense, although I hope soon there will be a day when it won't need to be something that one feels obligated to say, for any reason. That it will just "be."

Bunnylord said...

I think it's funny that he had to label you as the two lesbians. I assume he doesn't refer to others as heteros.

Dana said...

Honesty is a funny thing - it can quickly erode when compromised at the personal level.

Does it make sense? Absolutely!

Bina said...

It makes complete sense. And honestly? I thought you when there was silence, it's because YOU used to have the dog he was talking about!

He meant nothing by it, at all, I'm sure. Someone people just don't know how to say things. He could have just said, "Two girls".

Jay said...

I think you make total sense.

I'm also glad to hear that people other than me say things that result in complete silence and awkwardness. ;-)

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

Let me clarify quickly that I would not ever refer to my neighbors or anyone as "lesbians, gays, blacks, Jew, whatever" ... I just have a habit of saying things that make people stop and say "He's a little odd." hehe ;-)

I don't know why he would feel the need to mention that his friends or neighbors were lesbians in casual conversation. It wasn't important to his story, so why bring it up?

Akelamalu said...

It makes perfect sense!

The people who were noticeable by their silence said so much more than Jim, didn't they? :(

Lu' said...

I've seen the look of so many emotions displayed on the face of my friend Bob in lightening flashes when he was outed at work. He thought it was news and I said Bob they've assumed you were gay for years and no one is really bothered by it, the few that are fuck 'em. I'm glad you took control of the situation and dealt with it on your terms. That look on Bob's face hurt me for him.

buffalodick said...

Fight for something you care about, argue with someone who needs arguing with... but don't ever worry about who you are, and what you are, because that is the core of why you are..

Karen said...

Does it get easier? I mean, it has to be easier than the first time you came out to someone, but it is always a little difficult? I imagine it would be scary - a least a little bit - every time.

And you make perfect sense!!

LiLu said...

I love Jim already. And I don't blame you for one bit- it makes PERFECT sense. :-)

Jude said...

Deafening silence, probably a little squirming in their seats too...hmmm, I think I would have asked Jim right then the names of the two lesbians and add maybe I know them.

Out and proud, that's how I need to live now.

You handled it perfectly.

Love, Evolution, and Resilience said...

Love the blog! Wouldn't have said anything either (waste of time, but would take the oppertunity to give them the link to my blog, then gone on home to write about it! Lots a sisterly love,
D

meno said...

I live next door to these two straight people...

You would never hear a sentence like that would you?

Of course it makes sense.

Newbo said...

It definitely makes sense. Most people back home don't know i have a girlfriend, and it's been 7 months now, so everytime i talk to someone (and my mom rings me every day) i feel really bad, more because i feel like i'm lying than because i want them to know.

phd in yogurtry said...

The silence feels more uncomfortable than Jim's lesbian qualifier. Is that just me? Why did it cause silence? Because they were afraid you would find it uncomfortable?

LilliGirl said...

You handled it well.

Sometimes though I think some folks just do that without thinking because it is an easy way to id folks when you don't know them personally. It could be offensive but we have the mexicans, the old lady and the black couple on our street. Not predjudiced against them but it clearly identifies who we're talking about in conversation when I'm really just so damn bad with names :(

Aunt Jackie said...

That makes perfect sense. You are very lucky to feel comfortable to talk to people and be honest like that. There are so many in the world who still try to live comfortably in their lies.

Kudos to you.

Maisie Magnolia said...

I don't really think that it was disrespectful for him to use the word lesbian. It's not a bad word! I actually think it was great that he felt comfortable using it, and the fact that he said he didnt have any issues with it or anything. He didnt mean anything bad by it.

I actually just came out to my server tonight at dinner haha... He was telling some joke that I can't even remember, but it was something like a straight girl says this, and a lesbian says the other... Well I came right out and said "well... Im gay so that's not right," since I had said the 'straight girl' response to his before question. We laughed about it, but I just love coming out to people. haha.