Now that I've been employed long enough to receive my first checks from my two regular families, I've been contemplating if, how, and when to tell these families about my family. Specifically, that I'm a big ol' queermo and that I share a bedroom and a cat with a person I usually refer to as my partner. I fly pretty silent on most people's queerdar since I have the double whammy of fairly feminine mannerisms and a fairly feminine physical presentation. (I even currently have long-ish hair that is neither a buzz cut nor a pixie cut, my two rotating constants over the past six or seven years.) So it's not like these families would look at me and just know, or even suspect that I'm, you know, "of the gay." (Unless they saw my Yeti legs, which I always cover during interviews with new people anyway because preschool teaching effectively ruined my body hair self-confidence in childcare settings.)
With Jaden's mom, I knew her from her
blogging presence on the internet, so I had absolutely no doubts about
coming out. Within minutes of meeting her I had casually dropped the "my
partner" bit, and not only was she instantly receptive ("your partner
is welcome to hang out too, Jaden loves people!") but her kid was
obviously acquainted with the term partner because he immediately asked
in his adorable three-year-old lisp, "Does yo' pawtnah wike kids?" like
an old pro. I gave him a mental high five.
My first day
with Sasha and Ezra, I picked up a baby board book off the couch and
upon my second or third reading to Ezra, I had it well enough memorized
to start looking at the pictures that accompanied the text. It's a book
called Everywhere Babies and even though it rhymes, it's the least
obnoxious rhyming board book I have yet come across. I was surprised and
delighted to see that even though the gist of the story was "babies are
everywhere and they all sleep, play, and poop" it actually featured a
very diverse cast of characters. Not only did it have what were pretty
obviously same-sex couples, but it also showed grandparent-aged
caretakers and caretakers who looked different from the babies
(presumably fostering or adoptive families).
This was my sign.
This family is probably gay-okay and won't fire me upon revealing my true rainbow sparkle colors.
next time I showed up at Sasha and Ezra's house, as their mom gave me
my morning orientation, I saw my window and I plunged for it. It wasn't
even really a window, but was shaped enough like one that I was pretty
sure I could make it into a window. It went like this:
Mom: "Sorry about all the noise, the workers should be done pulling off
the roof after today. Ezra really needs a nap but he won't sleep
through the noise so you'll have to put him in the stroller."
Me: "Yeah, I wouldn't be able to sleep through that noise either."
The Mom: "It's hard to sleep through sudden loud noises, like when they hammer or drop something big."
"For sure. Last night somebody was going through our glass recycling
out front and the noise of the bottles banging around woke us up. My
partner got really worried that whoever it was would come in and steal
her bike. But the type of person who bothers sorting through the
recycling for bottles to deposit for a nickle each is probably not the
same type of person who will then break into your basement and steal
The Mom: "Yeah, those people usually consider it their
little job, and go from house to house on recycling day. Your bikes are
probably safe in the basement."
Did you see that? She didn't even blink at the casual "my partner, she" bomb.
Of course, my partner sometimes goes by "they" pronouns, but one step of coming out at a time.
would like to high five the people who illustrated Everywhere Babies,
as it is now one of the very few board books that I don't despise on
sight, but that I actively like. Good job on the passive diversity education front, Everywhere Babies.