- The thing that gets me is that one’s sex life is only really permitted to be a private matter if it’s normative.
I was in the Village in Montreal this past weekend (the gay quarter, in other words) and looking around, and saw a couple walking down the street, hand in hand: a young man and a heavily pregnant woman. I was chatting with the fellow I’d come down to hang out with a bit after that and commented that they’d been “flaunting their heterosexuality”, which is one of those jokes that isn’t a joke.
I got interrogated vigorously on a newsgroup a few months ago because I commented something to the effect of, “My boyfriend said this”. And some guy — who happened to know I’m married — figured there had to be some profound reason that I specified my boyfriend had said something, rather than just identifying him as a friend or some random person. He asked me if there was some philosophical dispute with my husband involved. Tried to get at the deeper reason for me identifying my boyfriend as my boyfriend other than, “I think there’s only one or two people on the newsgroup who would know who I was talking about if I’d used his name.” If I said my husband had said something, slip, slide, right under the radar, in normal-people world people identify their spouses as spouses or partners as partners without there being some Deeper Reason.
I live my life painfully aware that normal-people world is barred from me unless I choose to betray my family by lying about them — and even then, I only get there so long as I’m willing to call a lifepartner a “friend” or a “roommate” or whatever else is required to conform. If I just treat my family like a family, I’m flaunting, I’m pushy, I’m asking too much of people, I’m pushing an agenda … by saying my boyfriend is my boyfriend. Not even talking about the kinky stuff, just by calling. him. a. partner. Just like a real human being would.
Back to this sense that blatancy is required for being real and different simultaneously ...