Salon – I was in a bar in Chicago when I told a close friend of 20 years that, despite being a lesbian, I was marrying a man. My friend and I hadn’t seen each other in a while, but we fell back quickly into our old intimacy — those long, rambling conversations we used to have in coffee shops all over Minneapolis. When the subject shifted to an activist group she was part of, I said I’d be glad to help, if they needed a lesbian on their board. She laughed, dismissively. “You can’t call yourself that anymore.” Of all the weird reactions I’d gotten to my engagement, that one pissed me off most. I had not been not surprised when my fiancé’s friends — Washington insiders with the respect for convention that city inspires — expressed shock when they discovered I was a dyke. We came from different worlds; with my long brunette hair and short skirts, I hadn’t read as queer to them. But no one had presumed to relabel me, to retrofit me to their categories — at least, not to my face. But here was my fabulous Portland pal, trying to claim me for the Bi-Het team (which sounded like a synagogue rather than a sexual identity, and certainly not my own). She wasn’t the only one: An ex-girlfriend and a sophisticated poet cousin said the same thing, as if my lesbian license had been revoked. So let me be clear, since I can’t be the only one: I am a lesbian marrying a man. This is not semantics, or splitting hairs; it is fundamental to who we are — my fiancé and I. Immutable as height or eye color. Call it a kind of intermarriage. I am 5-foot-9, brunette, lesbian, that won’t alter because of our vows; nor will my love of women, though I won’t be dating them. If either of us had to pretend otherwise, I wouldn’t be marrying this man. It is precisely because our love makes room for us to be who we are, rather than cutting us to fit convention, that I want to spend my life with him.
No. This is not how it works, babe. You’re not a lesbian. At the most you’re bi-sexual. And really, you’re just a straight chick who probably went down on a few chicks in her life. You can’t say you’re a vegetarian who just happens to eat meat. You don’t get to say you’re gay if you’re marrying someone of the opposite sex. These are just basic definitions of words.
Why even try to keep up this charade? Its like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. You like round peg in your round hole so you’re straight. Its like you just want to be able to tell people you’re a lesbian. I’d like to be a pimp from Oakland or a cowboy from Arizona but it’s not Halloween. And as a matter of fact if I was a gay I think I’d be pretty offended by this. You don’t get to run around playing the Gay Card if you’re a part of a straight marriage. Its honestly something straight out of a Seinfeld episode.