My friend once gingerly brought up the topic of how I met my girlfriend. In this city where everyone on Facebook declares to everyone about their wife/husband very casually……how do you know? Her perplexity mixed with helplessness and espresso made her seem excited yet on the verge of tears. How do you know? She kept repeating. How do you know until and unless someone has it tattooed somewhere that they are gay and would be interested. Another friend once came up to me and declared that she thinks that the gaydar is a made up concept. In her 20 years, she has always been wrong when it comes to the guesswork to identify whether someone is gay or not.
When anyone poses the question as to how did I find that my partner is interested in women, I tell them – If you want to know they are gay, ASK- It’s scary. True, but you won’t know for sure until you ask. Plus it doesn’t have to be a serious question substituted with dramatic music; most times it’s the nonchalance that works best. A friend once said that she finds it’s easier to tell girls if they are gay and if they want to go out because most girls carry such comfortable and positive energy around them that it automatically seems okay.
Also I remember the endless hours my partner and I used to, and still do, spend in discussing various LGBTQA essays and literature. Before we began dating, that was for me the biggest clue (in fact I still have her copy of Ruth Vanita’s Same Sex Love in India, and have had it for the past year). And now, discussing different politics revolving around sex and gender has become one of our favorite ways to banter. It’s not only because as partners we understand each other easily, but also even though we have different perspectives, we bring to the table a similar notion about oppression and exclusion we have faced because of our gender and sexuality.
One of the probably best aspects of having a same sex partner is the way they understand the struggles of belonging to that gender since they face similar struggles themselves. A friend once claimed that he doesn’t worry about shaving or hair removal as much ever since his partner had found him writhing in pain after the scissors had sniped at skin instead of hair and had laughed out loud and admitted that similar thing had happened to him just few days ago.
People often also mistake my partner and me as sisters, though we don’t look alike at all. It’s something I have found recurring in most same sex couples we are friends with. The assumptions that people often make is either siblings or close friends. As annoying it is, it does lead to enjoyable hours of laughter. At another party, this older heterosexual couple walked up to us and asked us if we ever find men attractive. Before laughing and swiftly moving away, they looked at our expressions and said – of course we didn’t mean to say that just because you are on a diet you can’t look at the menu. Needless to say we still laugh about that statement.
Another instance when two of my friends kissed each other on New Year’s and people remarked that when men get drunk they do silly things like making out with friends. They had been dating for 18 months. The sheer ignorance is funny but also baffling because like…..stop.
For most part, when someone asks, how does it feel like to date a girl, I have very little to tell them. Dating and finding someone is a feat in itself, and apart from that each relationship is privy to the people who are a part of it. Being with a woman, for me is a wonderful experience, because that’s what I had wanted for a long time. My sexuality is different but it isn’t alien. It does not necessitate getting asked questions whether we borrow each other’s stuff or if we check out girls together. Yes we do borrow each other’s things like every other couple. And no we don’t check out girls together because we are mostly very busy having coffee and talking about memes.