Oh. My. Goodness.
That’s pretty much the only reaction one can have to family events some times.
This past weekend, it was my cousin’s birthday. So we all piled into the ol’ minivan and headed to my Aunt & Uncle’s house to celebrate with my mom’s 4 siblings, their spouses, and my myriad of cousins, as well as my cousin’s other side of the family who I see 2-3 times a year.
While we were there, my one aunt, who just gave birth 2 weeks ago, came with the new baby. He’s adorable, sweet, and an absolutely perfect little squish as I’ve taken to calling him. Anytime a new cousin is born, the baby is always handed to me. (That’s what happens when you’re the oldest cousin!) Now, I am 22. Lil Squish is 2 weeks. I’m 22 years older than him.
Me and younger cousin look at Lil Squish
Based on this photo, yes, it looked like I was a new mom.
Now, the fact that Lil Squish liked me best is irrelevant, except to the point of this story. As a result of obviously being the coolest cousin (and clearly the most modest), I was holding Lil Squish for a long time.
As a result, many members of my family and my cousin’s other side of the family felt the need to tell me, especially after hearing I’m graduating college in 13 days, that I’m “next.” No, have no fear, I’m not next to go to win a million dollars or win the Nobel Peace Prize. I’m next to pop a baby out.
Now, I need to remind everyone that I’m not out to my entire extended family. (I don’t care if they know I’m a flaming homo, I just don’t care enough to tell all of them. My aunt whose house we were at knows, and so does my grandma. Of my extended family, that’s all that matters.)
In life, if you’re a girly girl who has any maternal instincts and is approaching college graduation, people only see two things in your future: marriage and babies. Forget your plans to get your Masters in one year. *brushes shoulders off* Forget any potential plans of pursuing your Doctorate. Even though you are still “somehow single,” marriage and babies are obviously in your imminent future.
When we got back to my parents’ house after the party, I noticed a package and some mail had come for me. I slipped them into my bag, knowing that the package was Shar Rednour’s book, The Femme’s Guide to the Universe. Any mention of anything “pro-gay” or “gay pride-ish” throws my mom into a tizzy. She doesn’t mind that I’m gay, but she doesn’t like “gay activists” or “gays that flaunt it.” (She’s gotten better, she really has, but some of the things she says are a bit ignorant.)
Since the package was accidentally mailed to my parents house instead of my address at school (damn you, Amazon!), Mom felt she had the right to see what I ordered. Now, Shar’s book is not “as gay” as some of the other things I’ve ordered and had delivered to my school address. It’s not a sex book, it’s not a sex toy, and it’s pretty damn tame. Mom asked me a lot of questions, and I was tired and I wanted to go back to school. So I went into bitch mode and told her she didn’t have to look at everything I ordered.
Bottomline, somehow our “conversation” led to me snarkily agreeing to let her read my book when I’m done with it. Ermmmmm…. no.
During my time with my mom, we also discussed the potential of me having a grad party in July (still don’t know if it’ll happen) and I told her I’d want to be out to the family if I invited all my flamboyantly gay friends. One thing led to another, and she pointed out that I’m single and very girly so it’s not like anyone suspects I’m gay. (Truth.)
Then, she pulled out the one phrase I CANNOT STAND. She said, “Well, if you’re in a relationship by your graduation party, if it’s with a girl we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. I still don’t think you’re 100% gay.” She then proceeded to say I don’t look gay, and because I’ve never been with a guy, I don’t know for sure. I retorted with my usual “well, you’ve never been with a woman so you don’t know that you’re straight.” She replied, “We’ve been over this! I’m attracted to men. Are you sure you don’t like boys? You’re so pretty! You could get a boy if you wanted to.” I responded, “Mom. I LIKE VAGINA AND BOOBS.” Then we got into another argument about me using “vulgarities” and we eventually made up like mothers and daughters tend to do.
I don’t care what I look like. I EMBRACE my feminism because being a femme is what I feel comfortable with. I may enjoy wearing skirts, bright red lipstick, and high heels, but that is just my style. What I wear does NOT determine who I am attracted to. I am a femme lesbian, and I am proud of it. Do I find it difficult to date because of my femme identity? Yes. I am always questioned if I really am gay. Do I find myself having to continuously come out as a lesbian because of my femme identity? YES. All the freaking time. Do I have to constantly justify who I am because of what I wear? Yes siree. Would I change anything about my style to make my sexuality more apparent? NEVER.
My femme lesbian identity is who I am, and I am 150% proud of the feminine queer woman that I am. If any of you have a problem with it… well, you can suck it.