Most of the time, I don't really think too much about being a lesbian. Sure, it's a huge part of my identity but I don't go to Starbucks and think, "Here I am, a lesbian, having a coffee at Starbucks..." I don't go grocery shopping and think, "Hmmm, where's the salad in a bag for lesbians because that's what I am - a lesbian looking for salad..." When I am out and about, if people point at me or stare, I assume that I am having a bad hair day or that my pants are unzipped - not that the sight of me, an obvious dyke, is noteworthy. I do get called "sir" on occasion but that surprises me only because I still have Nursing Mother Boobs and I don't take it as any comment on my sexual preference. I realize that I am lucky that being a lesbian can be the non-issue that it is and I do take that for granted to a certain extent. Then, I leave Minneapolis and go other places and, oh, how I am reminded of the bubble in which I live. The bubble will be bursting again this Thursday. This week, we are going to Kansas City. Everyone notices that we are lesbians when we go to Kansas City - even stray animals seem to stop and stare at us. Before we had children, we would get the occasional once over but didn't get overt stares and comments unless we were holding hands or kissing. Once we had children though, it seemed more obvious that we were "together" and not just two lovely friends with short hair and men's clothing taking a nice little road trip together. We drive to KC through Iowa and, because there aren't a lot of culinary highlights going south on I-35, we make the inevitable stop at McDonald's. As we manage baby food and Happy Meals, diaper changes and potty breaks, it is obvious that we are both the parents of the children. You relate to your children in a certain way and there is no doubt that we are two women with their two children. I know that it is obvious because of the pointing and rude comments. The comments have never really bothered us because we don't have any hang ups about being lesbians. We're good people and good parents and are certainly not going to be shamed by Iowans in a fast food restaurant. That said, our son is getting older and I can't help but wonder when he will begin to notice the stares and whispers and inappropriate comments. He lives in the same bubble we do. When will the bubble burst for him? While Luisa and I are able to process and handle the shit we may get from strangers, how will he handle it? Will it hurt him? Confuse him? Anger him? I just don't know. I do know that when the bubble does finally pop for him, his parents will be there for him and we will all survive. No parent wants their children to be hurt and I wish that our children would never have to be exposed to the hateful people in the world. I know they will, though, and so we can only hope to equip them with the tools they need to handle it all. If we are really lucky, we'll also teach them to be proud, to speak out, and to be agents of change.
On Thursday, we will hop in the Saturn and make our way to KC. Along the way, we will stop at McDonald's and rest stops and gas stations. We will sing songs in the car, we will eat Skittles, we will occasionally ask Miguel to stop poking his sister and will ask Zeca to "Please just stop crying honey - we are almost there" and we will definitely be hoping that they fall asleep. We are also going to a place called the Great Wolf Lodge which is a giant hotel/water park where I'm sure we will be the only lesbian family to have passed through its door. We will go down big water slides and play in the arcade and eat at the Camp Critter Bar and Grille (yes, with an "e"). Yes, we are Scary Lesbians With Children and we are a threat to the very fabric of this country.