This week was the first time ever that I had to select the box of being in “same sex” marriage and that I was officially in the LGBTA community. In fact this happened twice. Not that anything suddenly changed this week, just that my first survey (this one for work) that I have gotten since Jello was able to flip the gender marker on his ID and birth certificate asked my status. The next day my doctor’s appointment had me update my personal status as well. Both of them resulted in me going from a heterosexual to a homosexual marriage.
I was enthused, but then I also felt weird. Not in a bad way, not that it was weird to be in a same-sex marriage and to love a man. Rather it just felt like I was being fake, or an imposter. I deal with imposter syndrome a lot anyways, but this was different (and yet somewhat the same). I was worried both times that I wasn’t really in the LGBTA community, and that I was faking it.
This started this week when I got to the end of my yearly federal work survey. I had zipped through checking the boxes I am used to (caucasian, middle age, etc). I realized just as I went to check the marriage status and my orientation that it was no longer the same and it made me come to a pause. It made me wonder am I lying now, or maybe I have been lying from the start. Neither is true of course, but it was a weird reality check.
I suspect part if it is I feel like I have been lying from the start. I have never been straight, obviously I have played around in group situations with guys and have met many men I thought were attractive. That of course combined with the fact I think women are beautiful and I enjoy being with them meant I firmly was fixed in the “bisexual” zone. The difference I guess is when I was with Jello before his transition people assumed I was straight, now that he is fully realized I am assumed to be gay. Either way it dawned on me that I felt like part of me is erased because of assumptions others make.
I do admit I had a lot of privilege passing as straight. People didn’t immediately grow aggressive with me, jobs weren’t denied to me because of my orientation, etc, etc. However, this was the first time that society could look at me and I no longer had the privilege that it wasn’t obvious. So of course I selected it, announced loudly that I had contributed to my agency’s diversity rating and where was my cookie. Ok, not funny now really, but I was tired and it sounded funny then.
The next day the doctor’s office had me update my information and once again I changed the boxes. The weird part in the doctor’s office is the receptionist asked me twice if that was accurate because it wasn’t what was in the system. I think that made me self conscious.
By the end of that doctor’s appointment I definitely felt like maybe I was an imposter. It was a stupid emotion, that I will unpack (and revisit) later. However, this post isn’t intended really to address the erasure of who I am (by the assumption I am gay or straight), nor does it mean to address the worries I won’t be accepted into LGBTA society. It is mainly to say this week was the first time I had to fill out different demographic data. I am happy I can do that (I am so happy to be in a same sex marriage with Jello), but it was a marker for more changes in my life.