So, my girlfriend gets mistaken as a guy sometimes, especially if she’s wearing a jacket or if she’s in a low-light restaurant. I hadn’t experienced her being misgendered until a few weeks ago at a German event in my hometown.
When the waitress asked, “What can I get for you, sir” I was quick to lean over and say, “SHE will have the Schweinebraten.”
Now, there will be different reactions from you all to me doing that, I’m sure. Some people might applaud me for “having her back”. Others might tell me I’m out of line and need to let her speak for herself. However, my reason for correcting her pronouns is actually for a very selfish reason.
I corrected her pronouns because I wanted the waitress to know that I was a lesbian. That sounds so silly, but let me explain.
I spent years becoming completely comfortable with myself and my sexuality. I pushed through internalized homophobia, as well as homophic behaviors and comments from “friends”, family, and people who I thought were on my side.
I came to realize that I was going to be the only person who’s opinion mattered when it came to who I was. I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be gay because it is only because of my being gay that I am as confident as I am. I wouldn’t have been this strong without having gone through what I went through.
And, sometimes, it felt like I was going through Hell. And I’m not giving all that up just to be perceived as straight at a restaurant.
On a last note, I don’t always “look gay”. I can pass as straight, no problem. I think femme lesbian visibility is so important and I miss chances to be seen as such when I don’t correct my girlfriend’s pronouns when we’re in public.
I want other young lesbians to not be assumed as being straight and I want them to see that you can be gay and still wear dresses. I rely on my same sex relationship [and my “gay looking” girlfriend] to make my gayness known.
Some people are still not going to understand, and that’s fine. I should also note that I’ve spoken with my girlfriend about this and she will let me know if she ever doesn’t want her pronouns corrected or if she’d rather do it herself.
With that, I leave you all. Have a lovely night!