Tuesday, September 30, 2008

GENDER BENDER


So I have this friend, who for anonymity's sake shall remain nameless and genderless. This person is a really good friend of mine and we keep in touch pretty regularly. We have lunch every once in a while, we talk on the phone too and basically know what's going on in each other's lives.

The thing with this friend of mine, is that they NEVER use any reference to gender when they are talking about their relationships! Now I am 99% sure that this friend of mine is gay but they just don't want to say it. I wish they would because it really doesn't matter to me at all. I would love them just the same. In fact it might make our friendship that much closer if they would just....come out. But who am I to say? Maybe I'm wrong or maybe they're just not ready or maybe it's simply nobody's business right? And so I say nothing and give no indication as to my personal impressions.

In the meantime, we continue to have these conversations where I'll talk about guys and whatever relationship issues or stories I might have and they will say, "Oh yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about. This PERSON did the exact same thing to me." Or "Yeah, this INDIVIDUAL and I went through that and so I don't talk to that PERSON anymore." Or "Don't you love it/hate it when PEOPLE do X,Y,Z...."

Kinda strange way to talk, right? I know, but again, not for me to question them directly but it just really adds to my belief that I had even prior to realizing their manner of genderless conversation. I find it interesting and even funny at times how they will twist and turn their words to avoid saying a name or anything but like I said, even if one day we do get around to having a "talk", I'm cool either way.

19 comments:

Mes Deux Cents said...

Jackie,

I am so guilty of not using gender specific pronouns when referencing relationships on my blog and in real life. So I can definitely understand your friend’s reluctance to do so.

As an African American woman the prospect of coming out is frightening to say the least. Most of my friends probably 'know' that I date woman but the subject is never broached. Mainly because I, like your friend, never speak in specifics regarding the gender of anyone that I may be dating.

I have in the past lost friends because I acknowledged my sexual orientation, and at this point I'm a little gun-shy about doing so. I suspect that maybe your friend has also experienced the pain of losing friends.

Maybe one day your friend will be more open. In the mean time know that their reluctance is probably an indicator of how much they value your friendship and fear of losing it.

anonymousnupe said...

It's gotta be difficult and frustrating for your pal to homogenize practically every gender reference that comes out of his/her mouth. Moreover, he/she should proly realize that a better tact is not talking about relationships at all. The way he/she is doing it now--speaking in code--most likely draws even more attention to his/her sexual proclivity than if he/she just kept quiet on the topic all together.

Eb the Celeb said...

I think its a man and I think if they are really your friend they should know that you are open minded to that type of thing...or maybe the person just isn't sure yet that's why they haven't said anything... maybe there are just experimenting hoping its a faze that will go away...

I cant even imagine what its like for them to come out as an adult... it must be really difficult even if they do have supportive people around them.

I mean at least if you are a kid and everyone can tell them that you are a little different and you grow into that life its ok because they always knew without it being said...

Maybe you sure bring up another friend... maybe even an imaginery one that is in the type of situation your friend is in and explain how supportive you are of that other imaginary friend and maybe the person will feel comfortable enough to open up...

12kyle said...

it sounds like you're good friends. and good friends should be able to talk about things. maybe you should say let them know that you know that they are gay...and you're cool with it.

Marcus LANGFORD said...

i have been through this with a friend of mine-actually two friends and wouldn't you know that they both turned out to be gay-actually one was bi-sexual, but you get my point.

i am sure your gut is leading you in the right direction. i would go on your gut and basically just wait for that person to come to grips with the fact that they do not have to keep anything from you.

tell her that i said she can be honest with you :-)

Brianna said...

I'm just sitting here trying to figure out who you could be referencing...

eclectik said...

Oooo weee

1. I hope it's a female...and track athelete...mmmmm

2. Oooo you talk about guys? The only relationship issues Jack could have is what to do with all these menz!

:)

e.

dejanae said...

dang
im tryna imagine gender neutralizing all them relationship references
thats too much damn work
i hope he/she eventually feels comfortable enough in ur friendship to confide in u

Dana said...

I honestly wouldn't think too much into it. You said it yourself, you don't care whether this person is gay or not, you love them just the same. So, to me, it doesn't matter how they frame conversations about relationships. The important thing is that they can relate to your story and maybe offer up advice. I don't necessarily think them not telling you means they don't trust you...maybe the timing is just not right for them. In due time, you'll know for sure. =)

k. carli said...

Jackie,

Obviously this genderless convo has bothered you enough for you to blog openly about it! :-) I can only hope that your friend will choose to be as open with you as you have been in this post...

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

interesting
i wont say what i think
but u ladies have something in common lol

Jackie E. said...

Thanks for all the input everyone. I'm pretty sure I'm just gonna let "them" either tell me in "their" own time or not at all. I don't think it's my call to put "them" on the spot like that.

Torrance: LOL!! I can assure you, if I'm reading your implication right, that I am NOT gay, not even a little bit! I just choose not to put my personal business out there but I appreciate your comment because at least I can clarify that should anyone else have the same impression that you do. LOL for real!!!

Remi Fagbohun said...

Hmm...
I think I am a little too direct for that. I am well known for my brutal honesty and directness, I would have asked Loooong ago.
I also understand that not everyone can be like me.
Why not simply ask?
And you could start by saying what kind of people do you like...also not gender specific, but requiring a gender specific response.

Its better to know I think ...and I say this because as a friend you should know this at least!! What if someone likes this friend of yours and they end up being the wrong gender?

Remi Fagbohun said...

and is it putting them on the spot if you ask simply while the two of you are somewhere talking? I find being put on the spot to be when that's done where there are other people and they have no choice BUT to answer!

Anonymous said...

jackie that is funny that dude thinks you're gay, lol! well we all know that's not true, just ask D.O. right?

Joice said...

Funny or what?

How the hell could anyone think your gay?

I can vouch for Jack. I lived in an apartment with her. She did not have Mary, Jane or Nancy passing through the apartment.

Lol

To funny!

I am privy to who she is talking about. Jack has this kind nature about her that she would NEVER EVER ask her friend what their sexual orientation was/is.

She will instead rack her brain trying to figure it out.

lol

Miss B said...

I'm new here...found you thru e's blog.

anyways...that's kind of crazy. gender neutralizing seems like a task. I don't think I would ask either. I would hope that they would eventually just come out to me. I hope your friend eventually opens up to you.

Great blog I'll definitely be back!!

Jewells said...

All that "person" and whatnot talk is a little too much work for me. Does this friend ever say "roommate"?

During conversation, one day I would make a reference to the same sex just to see what my friend's reaction is.

This reminds me of an episode of Lipstick Jungle. The guy was always saying "Chris". Never referred to Chris as a him or her. At the end of the show, during an emotional talk with his boss, he finally called Chris a him.

In due time I'm sure your friend will say something. It's probably fear of losing your friendship, though, the reason it hasn't come out before. Either that or they just assume you've already assumed...LOL.

Murthy said...

I have been through this with a friend of mine-actually two friends and wouldn't you know that they both turned out to be gay-actually one was bi-sexual, but you get my point.

As an African American woman the prospect of coming out is frightening to say the least. Most of my friends probably 'know' that I date woman but the subject is never broached. Mainly because I, like your friend, never speak in specifics regarding the gender of anyone that I may be dating.


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