Thursday, July 28, 2011

All The Way In and Half Out?

I have never felt so sad.

I am trying not to make this about me.  Not about my marriage.  

S recently gained a new client (yippee) who she quickly learned is a raging homophobe (yucky).  Half way through her treatment, this new client made a very disgusting, homophobic remark about her previous therapist.  I asked S, “What did you say…?”  I was half in disbelief and half in delight over how I just knew my wife had put this bigot in her place.

Nothing.

She said nothing because she feared coming out to this client and potential professional liaison would have negative ramifications on her business.  Her business is new and slow growing.  I understand that.  S says she is fine with staying in the closet to protect her business.  (I think her exact words were something like … to get more clients.)  

Staying in – or rather going back in – the closet is a lot different than what happened that afternoon, though.   S’s silence in the voice of bigotry makes my heart sad.  Makes me feel forlorn because she didn’t have to out herself in order to stand up for us, for our family… for everyone who we know and do not know who are LGBTQ. 

I don’t blame her.   She was not expecting to have an encounter like this… and on the other hand… I do.   I just simply expect it.  I was born and raised within this small community, and while she feels that this has been a very accepting community towards us… I have a different perception.

But I won’t go inside, and I won’t hide.  And I certainly will not tolerate bigotry in any form.

I get it though… when do you draw the line?  How do you make the distinction of who to protect and when?  S felt she was protecting her business and thus her family via financial security.  But I don’t want to live like that.  In the shadows.  Living a half life.  I think we can live a much richer life if we live it honestly, truly, and wholly.  

But like I said in the beginning… I’m trying not to make this about me.

5 comments:

Lisa G. - Happy Mama said...

That really fucking sucks. I'm so sad that there are still people in this world with so much hatred.

Sending you a heart hug.
Love you.

terri c said...

I think you're right that it's not about you or your marriage at all. It's tricky and people make their own decisions based on fear or whatever and in her own way S is trying to protect you all, it just isn't the way you wish she would approach it. It's a part of society that just sucks. I hope you two have spaces where you can spend time where you ARE accepted as the couple you are, and it is no issue.

Rexie said...

Perhaps S was wise to keep her mouth closed and not put that ignorant bigot in her place. You know, the customer is always right..yada yada yada. However, if I were S, I wouldn't hide anything about my life, and in due time, I would certainly work in nice, glowing references about my wife and family. I wouldn't go out of my way or anything, but if that same lady just happened to be around when I could make a natural reference (ie: if you called with something important), then I would take that opportunity. It's still tricky out there, unfortunately, and sometimes it's just wiser to grin and bear it.

Raye said...

Truthfully it probably would not have changed that person's opinion even if she had put herself on the line to say something. I know it sucks but it is that whole thing about not casting your pearls before swine because they will trample them and then turn and trample you. Talking to bigots is a waste of time, it only gives them a platform to try to spew their hatred. They have no interest in listening to anything she would have to say. The only way we change things is by making people love us for who we are and then show them they love a gay person.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully over time this woman realizes now after having this encounter twice, when she does find out that just because that is someones lifestyle it really does not affect her. Cuz inevitably eventually the client will find out somehow someway. I don't get bigotry, it makes no sense to me at all, how can you just write off someone because they are gay, or a different religion or nationality. I think people are just plain afraid of the unknown and when someone shows them the unknown they get defensive even more. It's a bad bad cycle. Just have to surround yourself with people that are positive and accepting of who you are.