We ended up voting in the late afternoon when Lee got home from work yesterday. We walked into the small Baptist Church and got in line behind about fifteen or twenty people. We filled out our form and waited, looking over the amendments that were on the ballot.
I arrived at the table to turn in my form and show my ID first. All went well and I was given the little yellow card for the voting machine. I joined the line waiting for a machine. At this point, one of the women at the table announced that they would wait for a few minutes and let all of us in line with yellow cards get to machines. There was little room for a line where I was now standing.
When I was the last one waiting for a machine, the woman called Lee to the table. As I headed to the voting machine, I heard Lee say, “What do you mean I can’t vote here?”
From the voting machine, I could still hear bits of the conversation. Lee was asking how he could possibly have to vote at another precinct when we were partners at the same address. Then, “No, we are not roommates. We did not move in at different times. No, we registered in the county at the same place, the same day, the same time. ..Allison is my partner, not my roommate. We have the same last name. She is my partner, like spouse.”
As I turned in my yellow card and put my “I voted today” sticker on my shirt, I heard Lee say, “I’m not angry and I’m not blaming anyone. I just want to understand how we could be assigned to different precincts and I want to know how we can fix this situation. ”
I sat across the room as Lee sat in a chair and waited. The women volunteers sitting at the table were avoiding looking at Lee and I could feel the hostility from across the room. I smiled as people exited the room after voting. All turned away and avoided eye contact. The man who had been called over and whom Lee had been talking to, paced around with a cellphone to his ear. After about twenty more minutes, I heard Lee expressing thanks and taking a slip of paper from the man’s hand. Lee left with directions to another church where he could vote. They told him I should have voted there as well.
On the ride over, Lee told me how instantly every one of the polling volunteers had become hostile as soon as he told them I was his partner. He told me how the man refused to even say the word, continuing to call me roommate.
I tried to see the humor in it all and the irony. I had wanted folks to see us as a same-sex couple (transman and wife was beyond my wildest hopes, of course). I didn’t want anyone to mistake us for other than who and what we are. In that regard, the day was a huge success. However, we both know there is no way a heterosexual married couple living in the same home, moving in there together, registering together would have been assigned to different polling stations.
The hard part though, is the open hostility directed at Lee when I was described to those working the polls as the partner. The “Hi, How are you?” and initial friendly exchange came to an abrupt and rude end and was never recovered. In fact, had Lee been as openly hostile as they were, I’m sure the scene would have become ugly. Lee kept his cool and remained not only civil, but kind and friendly.
At the next church, there was a longer line, but once Lee arrived at the point of filling out the little card, he was ushered to the front of the line. The volunteer there even addressed him as “Sir,” though obviously confused when she saw Lee’s work name tag which has his legal name of Lisa on it. They’d called ahead and warned them we were coming I suppose.
At least we can vote, though I’m sure there are many who believe we should not have that right either.
I couldn’t help wondering how many in both those churches were gay, lesbian, trans, and hiding. It’s no wonder they still hide.
What’s It About?
I know what you are probably thinking, that one doesn’t become suddenly gay. I agree. However, I was thrust headfirst into the gay community, my identity as heterosexual gone, the moment I fell in love with the love of my life.
Lee is a man, living in a female body. I fell in love with the man he really is, but also with the woman the world sees. To that world, we are a same sex couple.
I spent over fifty years as a white heterosexual woman. I lived in that comfortable place of mass acceptance, void of bigotry. The only discrimination I ever felt was as a woman and as a person of short stature. I never feared to walk down a busy street holding my love’s hand, until now.
This blog is about my observations as someone suddenly perceived by the world as gay, as a lesbian. I believe I offer a unique perspective.
Check out my other blog about my journey with heart disease.
I grew up wanting a fairy tale life
and searched for a knight just for me
after kissing whole armies off bullfrogs and toads
I gave up and set my dream free
I focused instead on spiritual things
and thought that my business enough
to keep me content and to fill up my heart
with accolades, letters and stuff
but deep down inside an emptiness grew
and I had no idea I was aching
for the dream long forgotten and then thrown away
leaving my heart slowly breaking
then out of the blue walked right into my life
my knight and my perfect mister
not looking at all like I had imagined
but more like by best girlfriend’s sister
still dressed like a man and so debonair
a hero with intent not at random
and out of my dream rode my prince to my side
as if never had my dream been abandoned
the gender lines blur but forever is he
the love of my life and my living
kind, strong and caring, funny and bright
generous, sensitive, giving
so some call us gay or lesbo or such
and say what we have is not real
some cast us out or don’t let us in
and think they know best how we feel
all that they don’t understand
they just cannot see that love is what’s real
and the genitals don’t make the man
Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.