“Are you guys roommates?” says the canine shelter volunteer to my girlfriend and I as we sit petting an cute pitbull combine. We’re in the course of our favourite weekend exercise: Visiting rescue animals and dreaming about an house we are able to really personal one in.
“No, we’re collectively,” my girlfriend replies.
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“Oh, like buddies?” says the volunteer.
“Like, girlfriends,” I say.
“Like girlfriends or girlfrans?” she says, and at this level I’m already laughing. The shortcoming for her grasp that the 2 girls in entrance of her are relationship is fairly comical. I’m tempted to say, “We fuck one another,” however I cease and repeat myself as an alternative.
Her eyes lastly register what we’re saying and she or he makes an attempt a restoration, telling us how “cool” that may be a little too enthusiastically.
When conversations like this occur, particularly proper earlier than Valentine’s Day, I begin to fantasize in regards to the modern-day tech improvements I might wish to create to unravel the micro-aggressions I encounter as a bi lady relationship one other lady.
For instance, I might love a bit on Yelp that tells me whether or not or not a restaurant is a foul place to be on a date as a same-sex couple. Will the bartender ship us free drinks and a predatory smile? Can we maintain fingers with out the individuals round us us like we introduced a teacup pig into the restaurant? Or worse, can we maintain fingers with out them us with eyes that say, “how courageous”?
It could even be unbelievable to have, say, an Uber setting I may change on that kindly asks my driver to perhaps not hit on my girlfriend and I whereas we sit within the backseat holding fingers.
It could be much more very best to dwell in a society that did not advantage a necessity for my Zuckerburg-level options, however I suppose we’re not fairly there but.
Valentine’s Day could be a nightmare no matter what relationship you are in: Eating places are packed, feelings are excessive, and it is a refined reminder that capitalism owns us all (sorry). However as a bisexual one who has skilled Valentine’s Day with each women and men individually, I discover that planning the evening once I’m in a same-sex relationship is much more anxiety-inducing.
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Whereas I might like to concentrate on how superb the meat bolognese on the prix fixe menu sounds, I discover myself mapping out all of the methods wherein our evening could possibly be thwarted by exterior individuals. Generally it’s somebody saying we appear like sisters, or a dude assuming we’re solely out on the earth seeking an enormous, manly third, or generally it’s a well-intentioned stranger who tells us that they too know a queer particular person as an try to present us their unprovoked stamp of approval.
These micro-aggressions usually are not new, and after virtually two years with my present girlfriend, they barely shock us anymore. Like a callused hand, we’ve realized to maintain a sure stage of discomfort.
However after they occur on Valentine’s Day, it simply feels so unfair. I think about myself a romantic. I smile once I learn cute texts, and I watched the Spiderman kiss scene from The O.C. at least 43 occasions. Hell, a part of me nonetheless hopes for my very own impromptu rainfall kiss. Like most people, I grew up wanting a deep, unbelievable, generally gut-wrenching, love. (My therapist has since informed me this isn’t tremendous wholesome – however nonetheless).
My level is, as a lot as I want I couldn’t care a couple of made-up vacation like Valentine’s Day, there’s some a part of me that merely simply buys right into a day devoted to like.
For no less than that at some point, I need to maintain my girlfriend’s hand on the road and never wordlessly half methods after we see somebody approaching who appears bodily threatening. For at some point, I do not need it to shock others that the 2 girls dressed up at good restaurant are there collectively.
For at some point I need us to be us in public.
And perhaps this yr we will probably be. Perhaps this yr we received’t get second appears or uncomfortable questions. Perhaps our Uber driver will want us Completely satisfied Valentine’s Day as we exit the automobile with out query, and the particular person on the host stand received’t internally pair us with the boys standing distantly close to us.
However perhaps this received’t be the yr that occurs. And that’s one thing I issue into my Valentine’s Day prep: our contingency plan. The plan that claims if every thing goes to shit, the day can nonetheless be about us. The plan that claims if we are able to’t be ourselves in all places, we are able to nonetheless be ourselves within the areas it feels secure to take action. The plan that consists of brushing it off after we get a lingering stare, and deciding that perhaps tonight isn’t the evening for teachable moments like within the pet shelter. Tonight is for us.
I attempt to keep in mind that this plan is extra of a privilege than our predecessors have been afforded. And it’s greater than many queer people, particularly individuals of shade and trans people, nonetheless have in the present day. For different queer people, it’s not simply dates which are a supply of tension, however shifting by way of the world daily. They don’t simply ask the query of “can we be us,” however “can I be me?”
So I’ll maintain my girlfriend’s hand on Valentine’s Day, and I’ll kiss her behind our Uber. I’ll contact the small of her again on the host stand and I’ll get excited over that bolognese sauce. I’ll management the issues I can, with the particular person I take care of, and hope that doing so will make issues barely higher for the hopeless romantics who come after me.
As a result of on the finish of the day, I can’t management exterior forces and I can’t trigger impromptu rainfall, however I can nonetheless be myself.
Comply with Kirsten on Twitter.