It haven’t happened to me in years, ages or for quite a while now. But earlier tonight I had this so-called homo visible situation.
I went out for coffee with my chronically unemployed lesbian friend from down the road. According to herself she is not unemployed “I am just a poet in a world who don’t get me”. Anyway, it’s not about her life.
Just after I came home from my late teaching experience, that also was the first time that I was a few minutes late for class, because my brain got set on a conversation with S….. and I lost all track of time. .. shit. But, I had only closed the front door before she brutally tried to open it. No knocking and the way she opens the front door, any door, is with an expectation that doors are not locked for her. Ever! – And that it is peoples own fault if they stand behind a door that she is about to open.
“Hey! Want coffee? It’s your time to pay” – well like the last 40 times as far as I can recall, but never mind. I enjoy her company.
So with no dinner or anything we ended up at a boring cafe in Amsterdam’s city center.
Engrossed in an intimate conversation about her latest conquests, knees facing each other on a couch at the end wall at the secluded spot – the only secluded spot in the cafe.
Nice, easy and very relaxing.
Until … a boy, eh a guy, of about 40 years sit in a chair facing us. He leans across the table – towards us.
I initially first thought that the guy just found one of the few vacant seats in the cafe and peace with that, no harm at all. But then when he leaned toward me. And I could just feel that he was one of those, who when he see lesbians in half an intimate (not physically intimate , dialogic intimate – we did not kiss at all!) situation, then he clearly believes that there are more than enough room for one more – him and his face.
He tried to engage in our conversation and asked if we are lovers . And I replied – somehow with a sharp voice:
“We’re just having a private conversation and don’t really want to engage with others right now, so now, please excuse us.”
I thought that would give him leeway enough – without losing face to move away or at least lean back and drink the rest of his coffee in silence. But no.
“Why will not you talk to me? Are you two lovers ? Is this your girlfriend?”
I felt that I was getting angry. And replied confrontational .
“It’s – I am sorry to say – none of your f….ing business. But sure, to you, this could be my girlfriend, but right now we are busy with our own conversation that is only about the two of us, and neither of us want any other company right now. OK ? ”
He drones on. That I am a tight, Asian and closed-minded woman and that she is a beautiful Caucasian and open woman. What he was 200 percent right about. Well, in that moment he were.
I answer in a relatively red-hot-ready-for-war-attitude , that he might have to take my silence as a sign that he is not welcome and that it was rude to interfere when he clearly had been told that we would prefer our own privacy.
I looked over at my friend, after which she leans forward pats his hand and quietly asks him to leave us alone. Educational and friendly. He simply gets up and leaves. Mission accomplished .
Sometimes fuck my temper.
I felt my privacy massively violated. And my sexuality visible and vulnerable. And was – not quite fair – angry that she didn’t get excited at all.
“It’s not worth it to let such an idiot ruin your day, ” she replied. And squeezed my hand.
And she’s right. But once in a while I can’t help to read a thousand years of gender inequality into such a situation. The guy would never like that have invaded a heterosexual couple’s privacy, the way he did, but with two women, then it is okay to do so.
It’s actually been a while since I last felt this homo visible, but I can clearly feel that it evokes a lot of quivering indignation in me when it happens. Still, I find it so hard just to see him as a lone shallow idiot and not as a symptom of a sick and chauvinistic world.
What do you do when it happens to you – if ever?