Van & Carina

So I'd been aware that a lot of girls in my department at college had gotten engaged around the same time that I had a few months ago. But it wasn't until the past couple of days, with about fifty million discussions of rings and dresses and the one couple who got married this summer already, that I realized exactly how many music majors got engaged to be married right after they graduate. It's a little bit crazy, and a little bit intimidating, but I was so intrigued by the concept of knowing other brides in my age group In Real Life (it's significant enough that it deserves spelling out) that I couldn't help it: I gently pushed my toes into the water…

I offered up my wedding date (a year later than most of theirs) and showed off my ring too (and explained why I don't have a diamond).

Mostly, however, I have not corrected them when they use the preposition “he” to refer to my fiancée.

This is for several reasons…

One, while I've been secure in my orientation for about six years now, it's only been the past year and a half that I got used to coming out to people that I didn't know really well.

Two, as the title mentions, I'm going to school in a medium-sized but very rural-minded Indiana town, which of course in my brain has all sorts of assumptions attached about “those people.”

Three, I'm not just a music major — I'm a music education major, and that second word + GLBT has a high enough chance of inducing screaming that I'm still trying to figure out what my closet status will be in my career, and I've been playing it safe rather than sorry.

The fourth and final reason, and probably the truest, is that I am quite friendly with some of these girls, and really do enjoy hanging out with them, and know them, if not intimately, well enough to know without a doubt that they would be extremely uncomfortable with my orientation for religious reasons. Since I'll only be spending one more semester with them, why rock the boat?

It's an uncomfortable position for me to live in as a bride. It's an uncomfortable position for me to live in as a person.

But I am out to a few people in my department, and since I didn't bind them with a lot of “hush-hush,” apparently the word has gotten around at least a little bit.

Results?

One of the friendliest brides, while discussing wedding plans with me and another music major bride while we waited in line to rent bassoons, used the phrase “So your fiancée… what is she majoring in?” Like it was no big thing. No big thing at all.

So even with my female fiancée and my claddagh ring and my bridesmaids in sundresses and Chuck Taylors and her Man of Honor and our Unitarian Universalist officiant… I'm one of those smiling, flocked with admirers, rosy-cheeked college brides after all. And yes, it does feel good.

Being the Lesbian in Brideland, Farmtown, Indiana.
Scoop w Thumb Holes – Gay Goats

Comments on Being the Lesbian in Brideland, Farmtown, Indiana.

  1. First: BEAUTIFUL picture!

    Second: I’m so glad to hear that people are being open-minded and open-hearted. Stories like this give me a little more hope for the human race!

  2. Being a lesbian who just got married I do understand this predicament. Though we used this as a time to educate others that just because a woman is engaged does not mean that it’s to a man. We gently corrected the people who would congratulate us. Explain why we’re getting married even though it wasn’t legal where we are. As well as educating people who are married about what “marriage” actually means.

    At first I was hesitant as well, and I get this education issue and needing to be closeted to a degree. Huge props to the one that spoke out loud to you though! 🙂

  3. beautiful story, but also…wow, what a great photo! probably one of my favorite couple shots i’ve ever seen.

  4. That’s an awesome story! I hope it encourages you to “try your luck” with people more often. I put it that way because that’s how it feels to me (hetero with a much older fiance) – I don’t correct people’s assumptions, but if they ask an unavoidable question I tell the truth about his age. Every time feels like rolling the dice – I can never predict in advance whether the person will have no reaction or a huge one. But I gotta say, you learn a lot about people when you show them your true self, and positive or negative it’s worth it. I really hope that when you graduate you find an awesome situation where you can take the risk of sharing your joy with everyone! Congratulations and best of luck 🙂

  5. Congratulations, and I love, love, love the picture! My fiancee and I are getting married in Minnesota this fall, and it’s been an interesting process coming out to all of our potential vendors. Our engagement was also when I was officially outed to my extended family (my parents had been supportive for years but hadn’t wanted to tell most of their siblings so I didn’t bother telling them either). To my surprise, everyone in my (Wisconsinite, quite religious Catholic and Methodist) extended family was either very supportive, or at worst neutral in their reactions. Sometimes people will surprise you! Good luck, and I hope people continue to surprise you in good ways!

    • Yeah ^.^ It’s just for a tech class- I’m playing bassoon for all of 9 weeks.

  6. I have a number of “comfortably out” friends who are teachers, and I have watched them just be the most amazing role models for stopping ignorance. They aren’t doing anything in particular, just being themselves honestly, but even those in small towns have at least slowed the rampant homophobia often found in high schools (one is very proud that none of their students use the word “gay” in a derogatory fashion anymore, at least in their classes, but that is a start).

    Obviously your choice is yours, but I thought I would at least mention this.

    • I really want to get the chance to do that… I have a lot of voices from both sides in my life, some people really afraid for my job (like mom) and some people pushing me towards being more out that I’m comfortable even in my everyday life (the visible GLBT community at my university). I think I need to wait and see what my school will be like to make up my mind. But thanks for your support! It helps to hear positive stories.

  7. I just want to say … good. for. you. I love that you’re deciding what you’re comfortable with. Not what straight people think nor what GLBT people think.

  8. I love when people surprise you with open-mindedness. It makes my heart happy.

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