A Straight Girl In A Lesbian World

... laughing my *ss off at societal views.

A Straight Girl In A Lesbian World

“How’s your wife?” the owner of the local convenience store asked me when I was in his shop alone one day. I had recently been frequenting his establishment with my neighbour, buying water for her two dogs before taking them out for a long lake-side park walk.

I simply replied that she was fine.

I didn’t bother to inform him that I was a recently-divorced and very-much straight woman and that the lady he was referring to was not my life partner.

At this stage, I’m used to the stares and the assumptions. It happens on a near-daily basis if I’m out with — or talk about — my neighbour, who happens to be my friend and is, yes, a very-much lesbian woman.

In fact, I’ve come to find the comments or stares moderately entertaining albeit in a confused and pathetically-resigned sort of way.

I will admit, I do talk about my neighbour A LOT and I spend an abundant amount of time with her.

We get along fabulously and she’s been a supportive new friend during a time when I have lost all but a few old friends after my divorce. Moving back to Canada from the middle east was not an easy transition. Neither was trying to pick up the pieces of my life left shattered by infidelity after what seemed like a lifetime of a seemingly stable and happy marriage.

We talk about our ex-spouses, hopes, dreams, and disappointments. We laugh at life’s ironies, reminisce about our childhood and late parents, get angered at life’s injustices and wonder out loud who will take care of us in our old age. That’s if we can afford to grow old which at this moment doesn’t seem in the least bit possible.

We are not partners. We are not hidden lovers. We are simply friends.

And, for some peculiar reason, our friendship appears to cause great confusion amongst the straight population.

I was recently visiting an old friend — who I’ve known since we were toddlers — and her new beau. Late at night after a few too many drinks and abundant laughter, when verbal inhibitions disappear, she asked me if I was in a relationship with my neighbour and, if I was that “it was alright” and encouraged me to come out of the proverbial closet, all the while assuring me that she would embrace and support my new life choice.

On one level, I appreciated my dear friend’s sentiment. She is a sincere, loyal, and faithful person with a heart of gold and a generosity unmatched by few, if any, others. Yet on another level, I was left perplexed. I have more male friendships than female friendships. Not once has anyone, including her, asked me if any of these men are my secret lovers.

And not once have any of my neighbour’s abundant lesbian friends asked her if she was a closeted straight woman solely on the basis that we spend countless hours together and the fact that my neighbour admittedly talks about me A LOT.

Confused? So am I.

Christine O'Reilly
Christine O'Reilly
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Christine O'Reilly

A Toronto-based scribbler who spends most days dreaming of being elsewhere.

See all posts by Christine O'Reilly