A Change in Demographic Data

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.

survey-checkbox-istock-580

I swear these answers are from my survey.

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.

VeleyImposter
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.
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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.

letmedoit

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.

cookiemonsterwhereismycookie

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.

thanksforthat

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.

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Don’t worry, there will be posts about orientation, feelings of being an imposter and more later. I just thought I would share the change in my official demographic data.

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7 Responses to A Change in Demographic Data

  1. Lesboi says:

    I’ve never had a doctor or employer ask me for my orientation so it strikes me as odd, but I guess I can somewhat understand your employer asking for diversity reasons. I don’t know, checking boxes kind of puts us in boxes and I don’t know that there is a box that really fits me. Technically, I’m still in a same sex relationship, but technically I’m now in a heterosexual relationship as well, so I wouldn’t really know how to answer those questions. Maybe you are feeling some of that imposter syndrome stuff because the boxes offered don’t fully express your truth so you had to pick the one that seemed the most accurate.

    • I totally agree with you on this. The boxing in of me doesn’t help. Our employer does it because as the federal government that have to hit certain “diversity” thresholds to stay in regulation.

      As for the doctor, that is really common (even when Jello and I worked in it). The biggest reason they ask for that info is to put you into “high risk” category for dying of AIDs (well they don’t say it specifically is for that, but it is.

      I do think you are right about the box thing.

      • Lesboi says:

        I get that. I just don’t remember my doctors ever asking. Perhaps because I’m only sexual with a woman it’s never come up. I’ll have to pay attention the next time I go in.

  2. doubleinvert says:

    I’ve encountered similar, though not quite the same, being a trans woman married to a cis woman. Our marriage took place after my legal gender change, so we’re totally a same-gender couple. But you might (or might not) be surprised at the number of people, especially queer women, who will insist ours is a fake same-sex relationship due to my status as a trans woman.

    Live your truth. You know who you are.

    -Connie

    • jellotheocracy says:

      That really sucks. There’s no such thing as a fake same sex relationship. Especially not when joe shmoe at the market will still look at you at the grocery store, and be a bigot about it. I’m really sorry that has happened to you.

      We have not encountered that accusation (yet!), but it’s because we tend to hang in the poly crowd in our area. It’s where all the bi folks ended up, poly or not, and is more accepting than the L&G folks in a lot of ways. (Lots to trans, aces, demi, and pan folks.) I’ve been openly bi since I was a teen, and back in the 80s the traditional LG scene wasn’t so welcoming, so I’ve always gravitated to the side groups.

    • That is horrific it happens to any of us. I would say more but my better half said it already really well.

  3. Oh, oh oh how annoying!! Isn’t it hard enough to find love and to love in return than to also have it complicated by externals need for statistic and order!?

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