So, there is a lot of chatter on social media and the media about laws that allow people to refuse service to gays and lesbians. And a lot of it centers around not serving gay people in restaurants. The ridiculousness of gay eating, the horror of “Jim Crow” laws (and I really dislike the comparison because well–that was horrific)
But, I am torn about the uproar. You see–this is not new. I am a lesbian who passes. No one gives a second glance to two women sharing a meal. Add in a crowd of children–sisters, friends, some times people even think my partner is my mother. Yeah, I may be called sir in the winter with my coat on.
Then there are occasions when we just don’t pass. Dealings with teachers at the children’s schools. Arranging play dates. That can all be one of those hold your breath and hope and pray moments. *think of the children* My kids get off somewhat easy on this one. But I imagine other couples do not and spend a lot of time hoping their kids make friends with progressive families. There were uncomfortable moments for ME…but I think the kids missed it. (You think the media is making a lot of Gay NFL players sharing the locker room–be a lesbian mother to girls who need help in a swim team locker room. Eyes down. No matter that I have no more interest in little girls than any other mother. I don’t want to upset the other moms.)
Then there is travel. We like cliche lesbians like our bed and breakfasts. We also like dumpy hotels. I used to plot travel based on PurpleRoofs.com. Your average chain dumpy hotel won’t care what you are as long as you have a credit card. Then there were ones you see by the roadside. They include keywords that you learn to avoid. “American” “Christian Family Values.” Why would I avoid them? I am a bleeding red white and blue proud of America person. Not only that, I am Christian and hope to pass Christian family values to my children. (The real ones. Not the “Christian Family Values” that are encoded in the phrase in quotes)
Yep. Here I am. A Christian American woman who knows to avoid those hotels.
And then there is this…last year when we went to Door County, Denise booked a room in a B & B. I’d lived in Wisconsin. I knew that there were parts of it that weren’t the liberal stronghold that Madison seems to be. I knew that the need for money in the off-season might mean no one would care. But I also knew that it might. I knew that the Mother/Daughter innkeepers might find us…unsettling to share a roof with. I suspect I was right though they were delightful and OMG the breakfasts. I’d stay there again in a heartbeat.
But, I know that money won’t always win out. I know there are hotels where we won’t be welcomed or if forced to serve us all–it won’t be the same. It is uncomfortable. I am sure it is uncomfortable on the other side of the coin.
I try to go with people meeting ME not “the LESBIAN.” It works. I think it was a long time before even some of our baristas learned we didn’t work together, but were a couple. By that point, they knew us.
I don’t know where to go with this really. Yes, I dislike the laws, the threat of laws, and all of the stupid wrapped up in them. (I mean seriously–have businessmen noticed that Gay men on average have the most disposable income?) All of your outrage though? The jokes about “Gay Eating” and proving you aren’t gay so you can dine out? I know they are meant to make light of horrid situations. But they sort of hurt…me. Because while I figure we pass at most meals–I know I reached my hand across to my love at dinner in the restaurant Valentine’s Week. I know I smiled at her in a way that wasn’t two friends out for a casual meal. So, yeah, sometimes I gay eat, whatever that means. I don’t need your jokes.