Words | Anonymous
When we could still congregate with people outside of our household, I was invited to a gatho. The host was an acquaintance I had run into a few times at parties. I only knew one other person attending so I plus-oned my girlfriend.
My girlfriend and I rocked up late because I had an afternoon shift. We knew it would be a bit awkward because we couldn’t just slide into this gatho – we would have to be introduced to everyone.
Nevertheless, I was determined to do something out of my social comfort zone. We were going to attend and stay for a couple of hours.
When we arrived, the host came out to greet us. They instructed me to take off my “dyke boots” before entering the house. I laughed awkwardly but didn’t fuss because I had called them “dyke boots” in front of the host before.
They then shuffled us into their living room, gestured to me and my girlfriend, and announced to the room, “these are the lesbians!”
They said the word lesbian with the inflection of a Monty Python punchline.
I remember awkwardly smiling and waiting for the host to actually introduce us by name. It didn’t happen. The onus was then on us to assert that we had names and tell everyone where we went to uni and where we live and what we do. It was obvious that some in the room had put up a wall and were treating us cautiously.
No one moved to offer us chairs; instead, we squeezed into one armchair together. The host asked us if we wanted to play Cards Against Humanity as “separate entities or one person.”
I was already desperate for some kind of comic relief. I said we would play separately and made some joke about how no one would want to see our bodies merging into one being. As I made this comment, I clasped my hands together and intertwined all my fingers – like I was holding my own hand.
I meant it like some Freaky Friday sci-fi shit; as if our bodies were merging like a horrific science experiment. It was perfectly innocent.
The host raised their eyebrows and said something along the lines of, “need to know basis.” Someone coughed and another awkwardly giggled. It wasn’t until the game started that I realised everyone thought I had made a joke about my girlfriend and I scissoring.
The game moved slowly. I don’t really enjoy Cards Against Humanity (something about the casual racism and sexism). A card about Draco Malfoy’s asshole was played. Everyone laughed so I pulled an adequately engaged face by widening my eyes and looking away.
The host pointed at my girlfriend and I and asked, in front of the group, “Why are the lesbians pulling a face about Draco Malfoy’s asshole? Have you got an opinion on mens’ bums?”
Five minutes into this function and we had been introduced as the lesbians, had my words spun into a sexual joke at our expense, and were now being interrogated about our opinions on Draco Malfoy’s asshole.
It’s safe to say I wasn’t pleased. I was humiliated. We left early and unpicked the whole event in the car ride home. We had been a sex joke from the moment we entered the room.
I’ve spent a decent amount of time becoming me. A fair bit of that time has been dedicated to accepting and understanding my lesbianism. An even greater amount of that time has been spent reading my friends’ crush’s astrology charts, crying to Harry Styles, loving my family, and naming my cat different variations of “Baby.” I spend 100% of my day being more interesting than my sexuality is alone. It’s a shame my sexuality managed to be more interesting than any other conversation that room could find.