Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"My sister is...."

I've been slow at posting because of work and the problems of our new house (and boy does it have problems). We had a significant leak in the bathroom and the Drying Contractors brought in blowers and dehumidifiers and filter units, they ripped out much of the tile in the shower, and we lived inside what felt like a turbojet for several days.  (Now we are living without a master bathroom till the renovation contractors can put it back together... we know we are lucky to have #firstworldproblems but it's still frustrating!)

The workman who came to remove the fans etc. is a big burly man with a beard.  I had to sign some paperwork that BP had filled out originally.  I told Big Guy that I had to add my name to the form because my wife had signed it before.

Every time I say the word "wife" to a new person, there's a little hesitation.  Stereotypically, one might expect Big Guy might not be friendly. Stereotypically, one might worry that a blue-collar white dude might be pretty uncomfortable with Teh Gay. But one would be wrong.

"Oh," he said in a cheerful, conversational tone, "when did you get married?"

"Right before Prop 8," I said.

"So did my sister!"  he said.  "She and her partner have been together over 20 years!"

Over and over again BP and I have found that people (upon hearing us use "wife"), will put forth their credentials of friendliness by citing their sibling/cousin/best friend who is gay.  I've had students tell me about their older brother, as a way of saying "see, I'm friendly too!"  BP had a conversation with our mortgage officer who asked her to explain how  DOMA affects us.

Average straight people, from a diversity of backgrounds and age and education and experience,  take pains to explain that they are on our side, using the proxy of "my sister".

They don't see us as a threat.  They see us as their families, friends, and co-workers, whom they love.

And that is why we will win.


JCF said...

"And that is why we will win."


Wormwood's Doxy said...

That just made my day....

(Sorry about all the house problems, though!)


Counterlight said...

I'm now playing the role of "my old friend who is gay" for a lot of old straight friends from childhood days in Texas. I can think of a lot worse roles to play. Maybe they might feel awkward and self-conscious with me, but I give them loads of credit for trying to make me feel at home again in my native state.

susan s. said...

Wonderful!! And big burly men with beards are often the best! ;-)

And the bath will be better soon.

Paul (A.) said...

Aww . . . IT, you made me cry again!

(Tears of empathy and joy!)

And part of the empathy is for your bathroom Cross to Bear.

Do make sure that the Renovation Contractors do EXACTLY what they are supposed to do.

IT said...

THank you Paul (A). i did not know I've made you cry before!

The renovation is not going well so far..... Apparently the contractor couldn't find his way to the house today. We think he went to the identical house one street over (darn soulless subdivisions...)

IT said...

Op/Ed by former Prop8 supporter David BLankenhorn, on what changed his mind: getting to know a faithful loving gay couple.