Yeah, I did. It didn’t surprise me.
I knew as soon as I added verbiage that revealed I had a wife not a husband even my long time followers would drop off. I lost people that I had conversated with often all because my person was not the gender seen appropriate to you.
Originally when I started writing 10 years ago —- 10 YEARS AGO, whoa. I was concerned for privacy, I had a young child and a mentally unwell partner. We couldn’t afford any type of a hate crime. I was pulling us forward by strings and any loss or injury to one of us would have sent us all spiraling — as my followers close friends witnessed when my wife committed suicide. I had us packed tightly and safely in this little bubble for a long time. No rainbows. No new friends. Nothing that could put us in the spotlight.
I had always thought I’d reveal more about my life (here) as a sort of social experiment later in life. See who reacted and how. I’ve always been a people watcher, it’s interesting you know? But that all fell to the side when my wife fell apart and I couldn’t catch her. After she left I did more than spiral. The only thing that I could muster was to keep my child’s world stable. Everything else mental, behind the scenes, mine – it suffered, and I outed myself when my kid was no longer a young child. Then, recently I have been more verbal because that same kid is 18 and I was mentally ready to deal with the digital shenanigans that comes with being openly different in a world with no genuine tolerance.
So. Just so you know I noticed the ones that immediately left. I noticed the ones that stuck around to make sure it wasn’t a phase and to quote a message I received “would finally find God”. lol I saw it all.
You know what else I saw? The hate in a CNA’s eyes when she asked me if what she heard was correct and I had a wife. The look deepen when I turned to give her my full attention and answer her. The look I couldn’t put my finger on till later when she said “They put them to death with stones where I come from”. Instead of getting upset I asked her to tell me more. I could see the wheels turning. Her eyes softened when I listened and took it all in. I then saw something I recognized. I thanked her for sharing with me. I noticed the bewilderment.
A week later I saw her again and she hurried towards me. The same person who stepped back when I told her my child was raised by two woman, she rushed at me and grabbed my arm. She pulled me to the side and asked me if it would be ok if she asked me some questions. I thought she meant about the patient I was caring for. She asked me every question she could think of about lesbians and gay people. I answered every one as honestly as I could. She told me she wasn’t supposed to speak to gay people; Her culture saw that in the same way they saw actual gay people. I told her that I understood and would answer any questions she had in any way she needed. I never once said a negative word about the culture that hated me so much. I simply thanked her for educating me.
She went on to catch me a few more times openly in the hospital and asked me more questions. Each time becoming more and more friendly.
I moved to the overnight shift and thought about her once in a while. We worked opposite shifts and I hadn’t seen her for months until a few weeks ago. I saw her walking quickly towards me. I smiled through my mask and had the intention of walking by her with a little head nod adhering to our previous encounters in openly public areas. Only this time she RUSHED at me full force and pulled me into a hug loudly demanding to know where I had been, in the café of a busy hospital. I don’t think I ever smiled so big.
last week I saw her again from afar. She was sporting a hair cut that is not common for someone in her culture. It’s a hair cut I see often in my community. I walked up to her to say hi and received the same welcome as last time, same busy café, same huge hug. I immediately expressed how much I loved her hair and she gave me that look, you know the one, smiled and hugged me again. All because I noticed through the hate.
So, to all of you who have walked away because of who I choose to make my person: CatrionaIsCrazy@gmail.com any day, any time.
Also, Fuck Mondays.