If you’re a regular reader, you will probably be aware that C and I recently moved to a new house. We moved into a lovely quiet little road with well kept gardens and neighbours that keep themselves to themselves. We haven’t really encountered anyone since we moved, apart from the odd smile and greeting during the day.
A month in our new home and now we are gradually getting to meet the neighbours, thanks to regular parcel deliveries arriving whilst we are working. Thankfully we have moved to a friendly road with a plethora of neighbours ready to accept a delivery on your behalf. This has helped us out immensely and has also offered a platform for us to introduce ourselves.
I always wonder if those who have noticed us assume the makeup of our family. We’ve been assumed to be sisters or friends when living in a previous house. Now that we have M, I wonder if they look at us as the family we are, just two mums raising their son.
The other day when collecting our parcel from a new neighbour, I introduced myself and M who had decided he had to be the one to get the parcel. We enjoyed small talk and then I thought, I best mention Clara, just in case their paths cross. So I said, “oh and there’s my wife Clara”. That’s when that split second of silence, or a slight “oh” or face change, means so much to me. It’s like coming out all over again. I lost count so many years ago of how many “coming out” days I’ve had.
I know many say “oh you shouldn’t need to come out”, but the world just isn’t like that yet. There is always that point when talking about my wife where the person I am talking to has to process that information. They are either super cool and couldn’t giving a flying duck about it, or they weren’t expecting me to say that and the shock is written on their face.
I don’t judge either way. Someone assuming I live with my sister, would suddenly have to process this new relationship change. It may come as a shock to someone who hasn’t met a same sex family. We live in a very conservative area, so many of our elderly neighbours really haven’t met any gay people previously. Trust me, I’ve been told this. I think they were pleasently surprised that we didn’t have two heads and breathe fire. 😉
To speculate over our family make up is totally normal. We like to be open and don’t hide who we are. We have nothing to be ashamed of and are just a regular family. I’d like to think our visibility challenges perceptions in our conservative little town. I know the world is slowly changing and this pleases me, but we can’t stop as we’ve still got a long way to go.