Me: Black Sheep, Social Maven, Possibly Gay.

Preface: I have almost never made E go to Family Functions. Partly that is because almost all of them are, of late, funerals, and I don’t think it’s fair for him to go to funerals of people he does not know. He doesn’t really need to take time off work to listen to an interminable service and then eat thrifty church sandwiches made of thinly-spread egg-salad, or bargain ham with too much mustard.

So. I was at a rare not-funeral barbecue event recently, chatting with distant relations I don’t know very well, and generally representing for my father’s side of the family. I am a Good Daughter. Also, I was there as a My-Father-Is-In-Perfect-Health smokescreen. Christ, the enabling starts early over here.

Anyhow, I’m having some barbecue pork and pasta salad and my dad’s cousin asks, “So, are you with a partner? Or are you alone? Or…” He takes a bite of bean salad as cover.

I explain that I have a boyfriend, whom I live with, and that we have some history together, although we are not legally married.

He nods and continues chewing.

But then I remember family gatherings over the past four years. The question, “Do you have a partner”, or even, “Is there someone in your life?” come up with some frequency. Not “Do you have a boyfriend?” or, “Is there a man in your life?” (even though there are some very right-wing relations who eschew anything that isn’t Good Ole- Christian-Family-Style) It’s all about ‘partner’ and ‘someone’.

In my effort to shield E from the tediosity of my family connections, I appear to have thrown my sexuality into question.

Awesome! I may take to using ambiguous pronouns just to keep the question alive.

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