JUNE 30, 1997
I've missed another Gay Pride Parade here in the "happiest" little city in America. (Actually, the full title is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered Pride Parade.) What does this say about me? Am I really a lesbian?
In the past, I thought I was gay because of my relationships with women. I know lesbianism encompasses a lot of things, but for me that was always a biggy. Either I had just had sex with a woman, I was planning on having sex with a woman or I was having sex with a woman. But, I ask you, is it all about orgasms?
Last Friday, a guy at work, I'll call him Brian (which may or may not be his real name) asked if I wanted to march in the parade. I gave him a withering look and said, "Who would we march with?"
He missed my sarcastic tone and blithely went on, "We could join any group. Come on, it would be fun."
"Brian, do I look like a real joiner of groups? Because what ever has given you that impression I want to have surgically removed." We went back to our respective cubicles.
If there were a contingent of people who have no affiliation with each other and did not want to be part of any group marching in a well spaced out formation, I might lend my support.
On Saturday, I went to the bank and a guy walked in. He was GAY. I know this, not because he had a dress on, but rather by the way he was dressed. This man had a big cowboy hat, rainbow vertical striped shirt with silver tabs on the collar, wrangler jeans and red cowboy boots. The ensemble was topped off with a rainbow striped bandanna wrapped around his calf.
You may be wondering why I've launched into this subject. I've been trying to get a lesbian magazine interested in my column. I found them on the web and I liked their style. I wrote a chatty little e-mail and they responded asking for a sample of my work. I haven't heard back from them and I suspect I know the reason why... I'm not gay enough.
At one time, I thought being out and living my life was being gay enough but now I'm not so sure. I am so "out of the closet" I don't even know what a hanger looks like anymore. I'm out at work, I'm out to family, friends and associates. I'm so out and open I don't hesitate to talk about my lover, my partner, my girlfriend to other women in the grocery store line.
"Excuse me, do you like those juice things?" A lady in her late sixties points to the four pack of Juice Squeezes in my cart.
"No, not really but my partner does. She whines if the fridge isn't well stocked." Usually, but not always these women respond with stories about their Herb.
"Don't tell me. My Herb cried like a baby if his strawberry soda isn't sitting there for him. Does he care that some weeks I have to go to three different markets to find it?" I laugh and shake my head. "That's right, he does not. They're all alike."
Sunday, I showed my gay pride by sleeping late, working in the garden, doing some laundry, running errands and going to the movies with my lover. (I should note for accuracy's sake that I was in the garden for good two hours in an old shirt with a rip where my right breast usually resides. I did notice that things were a bit breezy but thought nothing of it until I bent over and saw my bright blue bra peeking out and saying hello). I did all this without a banner, a sign or thousands of people cheering me on but god damn it, I did it with pride!
Copyright 1997 by Laura Jiménez.