Introductions for the Uninitiated
Guest Blogger :: Shannon
Perusing videos at the local BB for a movie night. Almost ready to leave. And it happens; “Erika! How are you honey?” followed by big hugs, smiles and comments about Erika’s participation at her Catholic church growing up. I think “Ahhh haaa…this is why I am not being introduced. Erika only new this person when she was in middle or high school. She knows nothing of Erika’s same-sex relationship.” Because I know her so well, I can see she is completely nervous, not ashamed or embarrassed, but fearing his lady will respond negatively to her sharing her love for another woman.
It was unavoidable…introductions! “This is my roommate, Shannon.”
Hadn’t heard that in about four years. Initially, I was hurt. Why wouldn’t my fiancée feel comfortable sharing with everyone that she chose me? Then, while providing Erika with her personal updates, I hear the lady say that her friend lost her engagement ring. Without hesitation, I say, “Wow, crazy! I lost my engagement ring over the weekend, too.” I didn’t flinch. It just came out. I wasn’t trying to boast, or force this woman to know the truth.
Why was it so easy for me and not for her? Perhaps because I didn’t grow up feeling guilty and ashamed for wanting to find a woman to love and adore? Perhaps it is because Erika has struggled with being gay and longing to maintain her spirituality and connection with God, the church, and her family of 20 uncles and aunts and numerous cousins that will not be attending our wedding. I will never know. She got in the car. “I’m sorry I said roommate Shan. I didn’t know what to say. I felt weird.” I replied, “You do whatever makes you happy.” Although I could tell Erika was hurting and confused I was thinking, “who cares what that lady thinks?”
But I’m not Erika. I can remember several times in the first three years when I was the one calling her my friend, my roommate, my BFF…I wonder how she felt.
When will it be “normal” for everyone to share whom they love with others without feeling weird, uncomfortable, nervous, anxious, worried or scared?
For me, that time is now.