Having kids makes you out and come out all the time.
We're pretty out. We're pretty big activists within the queer community. Having children makes you out, everywhere, all of the time. It makes you out to that huge mainstream community of which we were often only peripherally a part of as a couple and are now part of daily because we have kids.
While I've never had an incident or experienced overtly hostile homophobia, I'm always a little fearful when having to disclose that I'm a big old homo to new people. Even more so now because I want to protect my kids from any possible negative reactions others may have. I recognize that this fear is mine and I have to own it.
Most often when I come out to someone new, I get to hear all about a gay aunt, uncle, sibling, distant relative, high school friend, college buddy, co-worker, neighbour or random acquaintance. For the record, telling a queer person that you know someone else who is queer as a way to show that you're okay with queers in general is really quite bizarre. Even more bizarre is when you tell me about a same-sex crush or the homosexual experience you had when you were a kid, in high school or university. I'm left wondering if you tell me because you also needed to feel a huge sense of relief in finally having disclosed this big, dark secret to the only other gay person you happen to know.
Driving the kids home from camp earlier this week, we drove past a neighbour on another street who has fabulous rose bushes edging her property. I like to drive by and ogle her garden. But this time, the roses were gone.
I commented on their absence and Bella filled us all in on all of the details.
She's a lesbian Bella told us. She also had dug up the plants and sold them.
When we asked how Bella knew she was a lesbian and how she knew about the plants, Bella let us know that she had been chatting with this neighbour and shared that she is going to a summer camp for kids with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans parents.
The lady then shared with her that she's also lesbian and a mother and two other gay guys live down the street from her. Not the same two gay postmen who live on our street.
While it's great to know that we live in queer central, we were more than a bit flabbergasted when we had to point out to Bella that the woman she was talking to was a stranger and she's not supposed to talk with strangers, and especially not share all the details of our lives.
Bella's come out about her family, we've been outed to a neighbour, the neighbour has been outed to us through our kid and has outed some other people in the process. Apparently, by fluke, we've purchased a house in Mr. Roger's very gay neighbourhood.