I’m With Her

By Katie Golway

At a gas station recently, the attendant thought my girlfriend and I were a mother and daughter. When people see us together, I think they think we’re anything but dating. That scenario honestly gave us a great laugh; but, it happens so often that I have a running list. It doesn’t stay quite so funny.

Two nights ago at a local restaurant, the host saw us walk in. Just the two of us, looking quite couple-y, and said “four?” I’ve been trying not to rack my brain too much about that one. It is love! It is not crazy or confusing, but some people seem to be quite confused by us.

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So, what’s the deal with you two anyway?
Are you guys sisters?

You two are roommates aren’t you?

It doesn’t make me feel that weird, I’m just really straight. You know? It’s very different to see you two kissing.

So you just hate men don’t you?

I know you angry feminist lesbian types!

 I find that after I out myself to individuals who assume I’m straight, they get angry at me. It feels very uncomfortable to see someone’s face and feelings change for you in an instant.

These negative situations have only fueled my inner strength to have important conversations. I have never identified so closely with feminism until I came out, as that was when I saw my potential as a human being and a woman. Suffice it to say, I didn’t previously feel confident enough to stand up for who I was and what I believed in. I’m not sure I had ever given much thought to what feminism was before, but being a lesbian has truly affected my ability to see myself as the smart and worthy person I am.

I want to discuss the way that I’m feeling when close friends or even family members make remarks that are hurtful, but it doesn’t always feel appropriate or safe to talk about the way that I’m feeling. Quite a few people in my family have told me I am way too sensitive about what others say to me. Why should I have to be so silent about what I feel, and why is it so crazy to be a sensitive individual anyways? Sensitivity brings out the most empathetic parts of me.

Our LGBT community, our allies, and the general population need to come together and think about how we can bring up peaceful and open minded conversation. To normalize and humanize all of us- no matter who we are, who we love, what we look like, what we practice. I’m just like you, and you, and you, and you.