The other day my boyfriend and I stopped in the closest gas station to buy a drink. I introduced him to the owner by saying, “This is my boyfriend….” The sweet gentleman looked a little confused but I didn’t make much of it. He’s a kind man and throughout the years we’ve exchanged pleasantries.
Three days later I went in to pay for gas. The owner complimented me on how good I was looking. I must’ve made some puzzled face since I had no makeup, was wearing an old t-shirt, shorts and beat-up sneakers. He looked, smiled and said again, “You do! You are looking great.” His tone went up with his wide-mouth smiled.
I got in the car and in my confused state realized that in three years this man had never given me a compliment. It then dawned on me that like many others in this small town, he thought that my best friend and business partner is my “partner.” Buying a business with your “best friend” seems to be the hidden clue to “she’s my lover.” For over three years we laugh about it. The stigma and stereotype has been beneficial. No one has bothered with us. Even many of our guests come and go and really have no clue. This woman, my BFF, is the most amazing person in my life. We’ve been through deaths, relationship separations, my children leaving home, illnesses, financial strains, and whatever life has thrown at us. When someone asks me about her I tell them, “You gotta meet her. She’s my Oprah. She’s the wisest woman you’ll ever meet.” I guess comments like that must intrigue others. You couldn’t possibly be friends without sex with someone.
The truth is I don’t care what people think of my relationship with Bobbie. What I find a little daunting is that when those same folks come to the realization that I am not gay they start treating us differently. I do have an issue with that! If you can’t accept me regardless of my sexual preference then you have little business being part of my life. I have many homosexual friends. I don’t care who or what they do with their significant others. Love is love. I adore them all. I want pure joy, love and laughter for them always.
We don’t go around pointing fingers and saying, “Uhhhh, he’s a heterosexual man.” Just like politics and religion, I don’t get involved in the bigotry or intolerance of the whole sexual-gender-choice issue. I have a son who is gay. I don’t care who he falls in love with any more than my other straight sons. I want them all to be happy. Some of my same-sex friends have been in longer relationships with their significant others than my straight ones.
Matt, my highly intellectual boyfriend, said, “Babe, this is just like the issue with bi-racial relationships fifty years ago. In fifty years it will be something else.” He’s right. I know this but it still disturbs me that before you choose to decide if I am worth knowing your perception of who I would sleep with determines if I am a good person or not.
I love my BFF more than anything. She’s my sister, confidant, and therapist. I hold hands with her. I hug her. I laugh till we are silly on the ground. My life is stupendously enriched because she is my soul mate. If people choose to decide that our hippy asses are gay then let it be the truth. We are gay, full of joy and wonder, and proud to be living a life of laughter.