Monday, January 02, 2006

Milquetoast Seeks Acceptance from The Man

DEAR ABBY: I am a 35-year-old lesbian. I have a wonderful partner and we have an amazing 10-year-old son. My problem is, we seem to offend people when we refer to ourselves as a "family." I have had people correct me, sometimes even suggesting that I refer to my family as "my friend and my son" or "my friend and her son" (depending on who they think is the biological mother).

Abby, this woman is more than my friend. She's my partner, my life mate, my support and my co-parent. We try to be sensitive to people's beliefs and not call each other "wife" or refer to our union as a "marriage," but how far do we have to take this? We are a family. Our son calls us both "Mom."

We aren't "in your face" with our lifestyle, but to deny our partnership is to deny our son his family. We generally refer to each other as "my partner," which I think is an inoffensive term, but even that can send some people into a snit.

How should we handle people who want to redefine us? Why is it so hard for them to acknowledge that, untraditional though we may be, we are a family?

DEAR TRYING NOT TO OFFEND: Forgive me if this seems negative, but some people are so rooted in their fundamentalist ideology that they cannot and will not change. Please don't waste your time or breath trying to reach or teach them. The way to handle people who want to force you into their mold is to avoid them. Try it. You'll be a lot happier, and so will they.

First off, I'm totally with her when she says that they aren't "in your face" when it comes to their lifestyle (and there's no reason to be, unless you're one of those people who's got "something to prove" and like the stigma of outcast), but that still doesn't mean you have to be a total doormat just because other people have issues. Fuck them. That's not your problem, it's theirs. Secondly, they live in Texas. DUH! And thirdly (thirdly?), personally, I've never had a hard time coming up with a term for two gay people who are in a "committed" relationship...I put committed in quotations because sooo many gay couples (especially the male ones), believe in an "open relationship" concept, which I think is total bullshit (don't even get me started).

Personally, I don't like the term life-partner because that conjures up images of a terminal patient and their day nurse -or- partner, 'cause that makes me think they just shook on a long-term investment or just rode in on a horse -or- soulmate, which sounds waaaaay too New Age crystalicious-"I just made a wind chime"-y -or- significant other because it sounds too much like they just drew up legal papers to cohabitate. I prefer boyfriend, because I think it's succinct. Why go into a bunch of unnecessary blah blah blah explanation, when you can merely say "boyfriend." Straight people know what that means and it doesn't carry the stigma of all the other "gay" terminology. And I'm sure someone out there is saying "But, Kirk, they're more than just my boyfriend/girlfriend and I want people to know that we're in a committed relationship." To that I say eh. Why concern yourself with whether or not some total stranger knows the intimates of your life. It's just a friggin' office party, fund raiser, S&M fashion show (ahem), etc. Save the details for people you get to know better 'cause most people really don't care, especially those who, as Abby pointed out "are so rooted in their fundamentalist ideology that they cannot and will not change."


Blogger Mariana said...

:D You're back in good form, Kirk. I love the New Age crystalicious-"I just made a wind chime"-y part!

But I would like to get you started on the concept of open relationships. I'd love to hear what you have to say about it.

Monday, January 02, 2006 11:27:00 AM  
Anonymous kris said...

I don't like the term "partner" either. Are we square dancing? Playing a game? I prefer to say "homosexual intercourse companion".

No, I don't.

And what is the deal with open relationships? "Hi, I like you bunches, but I need to fuck other people."

No way, Joe-say.

Monday, January 02, 2006 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's the weirdest thing I've ever read. I've never heard of someone having the nerve to correct someone on what the proper terminology is for their relationship. Everyone has their own beliefs, that's no excuse for not being to respectful to your fellow humans.

Sounds like she just needs to talk to people who aren't "holier than thou". I hate those kind.

Matthew 6:27

Happy New Year, Kirk!

Monday, January 02, 2006 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

It's strange how diverse my circle of internet friends is.

One group of my blogger buddies is all about the open relationships. I cringe at the concept, but try to be accepting of their choices.

Then I come here, where it feels like everyone is on my side. I think open relationships are bullshit, and everyone here seems to agree.

Anyway, the name thing is always difficult for us too. I change it based on the situation.

If I am around a conservative person, I like to use the word "husband" because it pushes all the right buttons. I truly consider him my husband, and I like showing conservative people that no law will keep me from using that word.

When I am around gay, or gay-friendly people, I use the word "partner" because it's simple and they know what it means.

And finally, when I am in a business situation, I use the word "significant other" because it makes my sexuality clear without being too political or personal. In business, "partner" is mistaken for business partner. And "husband" brings up unwanted questions.

As for "boyfriend", that doesn't work for us. It makes us feel 16 again. And I think it downplays our relationship. 5 years and a house together is much more than just a boyfriend :)

I enjoyed this post. You brought up all kinds of interesting and insightful views.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

Heh heh. I have to admit, even I liked that part too. lol

I dunno, you know how I shy away from controversial opinions... Well, okaaay, you twisted my arm. One of my future posts I'm working on will be about "open relationships," but it won't be pretty. ;)

LMAO! I like that. Or "HIC" for short. May I also suggest the term Love Pirate ('cause he/she likes meh booty).

I couldn't agree more (re:what is the deal with open relationships?). I will never in a million years understand who came up with the concept that that qualifies as a relationship. I call that "sex addict." Ridiculous. But more about that later...

Thanks for commenting! :)

Oh trust me, Texans have no qualms with giving you their unsolicited opinion/interpretation of things. Even I have to admit I have a hard time biting my tongue when I overhear retarded conversations that I am dying to comment on. BUT, I don't, 'cause I'm a Lady.

Happy New Year to you too! Thanks for taking the time to comment. :D

See? That's one of the great thing about life, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion (for how long, I dunno). I have to admit I am a very opinionated person (gasp! WHAT?!), no it's true. BUT I also don't lose any sleep over the people who think differently. I may not like it or agree with them, but their entitled to their opinion. Of course I always have an opinion about their opinion, but that's neither here nor there. That's why I enjoy my blog so much. I can get all this venom, er I mean opinions out of my system so that I don't implode. It's fun AND cathartic!

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'm glad I wrote something thought-provoking. ;)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 2:21:00 PM  

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