sometimes it’s okay to be private

This is a post more for myself in which I write through the rollercoaster that is my brainways and reassure myself because sometimes, that’s all I need. I mean, who else is there to reassure me, right?!

There are things cis-gendered, heterosexual people will never encounter in this society and that is, for example, the agony of having to decide in the spur of a moment whether to come out to acquaintances or not. I’ve written about this before and maybe this won’t be the last post on this subject, who knows, but today was another one of those days where my pulse rose when the two business acquaintances I was having lunch with landed on the topic of same sex partnerships.

Now, it would have been save to say that I’m gay, neither of them really expressed any problems, one of them even has a sister or cousin (I don’t remember) who recently married a same sex partner but I still worried about what to say because it’s a thing one always does. And I do believe business relationships are even more difficult to navigate because I’m constantly thinking about what to share and what not to share about myself, not just regarding my sexual orientation but in general.

I had quite some time to think this over on my one hour drive home and I decided, it’s okay to keep things to yourself. I didn’t say anything in the above mentioned situation and that’s completely okay. I wouldn’t have dodged a direct question on whether I have a boyfriend or husband but I don’t have to offer that sort of information about myself.

I’m entitled to my own privacy; not everything I do has to be a political statement. As much as visibility matters, keeping professional boundaries also does matter. Maybe one day I get to mention my partner in a passing comment just like every heterosexual person does when they have a partner and that’s different. To me, that’s a way easier way of coming out because you don’t have to label yourself. It’s a head thing and probably silly but that’s where my brainspace is at these days.

The thing is, every person on this planet has a very personal opinion on whether my sexual orientation is acceptable or the same thing as incest or having sex with a monkey. Every. Freaking. Person. It’s just the times we live in. Sure, it’s awesome that being gay, in this country, isn’t punishable anymore. I can’t be persecuted for it but it is just such a contemporary political question right now.

Person B of the above mentioned lunch said something along the lines of: “I don’t really understand it, it’s not my cup of tea, I couldn’t do it but I’m also a tolerant person.” I’d have wanted to say that it’s not about wanting to be queer, it’s just a thing you either are or aren’t. (And by saying queer I do incorporate all forms of sexuality, please and thank you.)

Maybe that’s like saying “I couldn’t be a teacher” because I wouldn’t want to be and also I’d be a terrible teacher. It feels different to me though, probably because becoming a teacher is still a choice, nobody was predetermined to be a teacher. Maybe I’m overthinking this. Let’s just take away from this, that it’s okay to not share every part about yourself with almost strangers. I’m an honest person, but I’m not an idiot.

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