In no particular order, since June:
Received a one-year rural medicine scholarship.
Did my first Arterial Blood Gas ‘Stab’ – Easy as.
Still suck at plain old cannulation.
Attended an arrest call and kept out of the way.
Told by patient “You look like kd lang… not in a bad way.”
Got my hair cut on the back porch for $10. Trauma-free.
Started Bootcamp and got hooked.
Survived 12 days at home without The Girl and Yellow Dog of Happiness.
Spent a day as interviewer for Med School applicants.
Started interval training for running, again.
Buggered my knees, see above.
Don’t care, not stopping.
Avoided Med Ball.
Ooh, was in Med Revue. Again.
Remain madly in love with Girl.
Flirty guy doctors. Wrong tree.
Random encounters with mothers of two babies I delivered last year.
Delivered one baby.
Attended 21st birthday party (possibly first since own).
Mistaken for Senator Penny Wong. Sense recurring theme.
Stephanie Alexander’s chocolate chip cookie recipe is exceptionally good.
Jointly disposed of 3x large bin bags of oversized clothes.
Mostly just happy.
Tag Archives: Lesbian
In no particular order, since June:
McCat is asleep and purring on my arm, and my one`handed typing can’t keep up with my brain.
It’s Hiroshima Day. Please take a moment to reflect on world peace. Make it as long a moment as you like.
Today I had to go to the dentist in the city. Last time I did this, my mouth stayed numb for far too long and I felt all woozy, so I had an unscheduled overnight stay with my dad. This time, my girl and the Yellow Dog of Happiness came with me to drive me home.
We drove for three hours, got a great coffee, had a quick catch-up with my lovely Step-Ma, I tottled off to the chair; Girl and Yellow Dog had a stroll by the water. They picked me up, excessively numb and somewhat dopey, we picked up some sashimi to take home for dinner, and stopped near our old house to get the Girl a late lunch.
There’s an off-leash park around the corner from the house where we lived for seven years. Let’s take the hound there, I said, and you can eat your lunch before we hit the traffic again. Great idea, off we go.
Yellow Dog is much more in love with her than he is with me, but I convinced him to leave the Girl on her park bench. The two of us wandered across the dusty excuse for a park, greeting assorted small dogs and their owners in the appropriate way. All very harmonious.
Harmonious until behind us, a certain spaniel launched itself at the Girl’s face and stole a part of her lunch.
She politely and quietly suggested to the owner that he control his dog.
Loud enough for me to hear across the park, he suggested that she ‘stop eating for five minutes.’
For the last five months, the Girl has been working against history, genetics and a whole bunch of internal demons to regain the athlete’s frame she lost to sedentary work and too much of a good thing. She has been working HARD. And she’s looking and feeling great. She has muscles on her muscles. Her clothes are hanging off her.
There was a not-so-subtle implication in his choice of words, and I dare say it cut us both to the core.
As the portly man continued to rant at her, blaming her for being in a dog park and completely failing to apologise or attempt to control his dog, she calmly stood up and walked over to the Yellow Dog and I, obnoxious spaniel in tow.
The food obsessed spaniel climbed all over us for a full lap of the park, clawing at our legs and completely fixated on the end of the sandwich. No intervention. No apology. No manners. No accountability.
There was a time when I feared living outside the city because my differences would be more obvious and I thought I would struggle for acceptance. As I got to know the Girl’s home town, I formed the view that the anonymity of the city was a bigger threat. In a small town, people know who you are. Sure, they’ll know you’re the gayest doctor in town. But they’ll also know that if they egg your car, someone in town will know who did it.
He lives in the inner city and has a little rainbow name-tag on his spaniel. Chances are, he’s a friend of a friend. Would he have dared to unleash his stream of vitriol on my Girl if he knew the whole town would know by Wednesday?
Probably. People like that are like that wherever they live their unhappy lives.
But for us, this unpleasant encounter with the obnoxious man and his uncontrollable dog just underscored our growing distaste for the city, and cemented a feeling that our tiny town is the home we want it to be.
I’m so proud of the woman I love for the way she walked away. It implies a healthy stock of inner peace.
I was reading this post and was reminded of my own recent special moment. That awkward moment when the bank manager suggests you have a baby so that you can borrow some money.
No seriously, he did. And helpfully added “…but even that would take nine months…” Ah, buddy, if only it were that simple.
“Well then, could you lend me eight bucks for a turkey baster?”
Ok maybe that last bit didn’t happen.
A couple of days after the end of exams I zipped off to our mortgage lender to see if we could leverage some of our essential renovations into enough of a buffer to keep paying the bills until I graduate. Sadly for us, government study allowances are not considered a secure form of income. Whereas if we were receiving a family allowance, we would apparently be a much safer bet.
It was a good-natured encounter, and I walked away feeling that I had put my argument well. Plan A, not to be. Luckily we had Plans B through D up our sleeves.
I guess we could develop Plan E, in which E stands for Embryo… It just seems a little extreme.
Thanks for your offer of KD Lang concert tickets ad an early Christmas gift. I’m just not that big a fan. What I’d really like right now though is an Epilady (TM).
A few days ago I had cause to call the telephone company, and when we were finished with the business of changing phone plans, the customer service rep asked if there was anything else she could do for me. Yes, I said, I’d like to enquire about having my partner named on the account. “Sure,” she said, “what’s his name?”
Here we go, I thought. “Her name…” Immediate profuse apologies followed, and my partner’s name was duly added to the account.
Well. For as long as I’ve been in same-sex de facto relationships, I’ve been told by utility companies that you can only have two names on the bill if we are blood relations or married or in a heterosexual de facto relationship.
Every relocation or change of provider, we try again. The closest we got was with a gas company who listed my partner as Mr., much to her annoyance.
Two years ago, with both our names on the mortgage? Still not good enough.
So strike me down, After ten years living together, we have a phone account in both our names.
I don’t know exactly what just changed in the world, but apparently 2010 will go down in history as the year we gained the right to adopt as a couple, and the year the phone company decided we exist.
I’m being somewhat facetious, but honestly, it feels good to be acknowledged as a couple even in such a tiny tiny way.
Sometimes it’s best just to dive on in. I don’t like to say I’m a lesbian, because that is a noun and I don’t feel like I’m a noun. My sexuality is not my entire being, it is a small but significant part of me. Significant because other people make it so.
When labels are called for, I tend to opt for gay, maybe queer chick. Not that I feel particularly queer, it’s just a slightly funkier word.
People try to tell me that it’s easier to come out now than it used to be. Well, for me it is, because for the last (cough) years I’ve been coming out nearly every day, so yeah, it’s not that much of an effort. It’s going to be different for everyone, but for me, the biggest step was shedding my own assumption of heterosexuality and all its attendant expectations.
Why is coming out so hard? Internalised homophobia is a powerful force. It is the dark little voice in our heads telling us we are somehow flawed, imperfect, deviant, queer. Other. Ugly. Weak. The social constructs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, are wrapped up in stereotypes and assumptions. Is this me? Do I sign up for this? Am I really like that? Can I change my mind?
It’s little things, like how do you know you’re a lesbian if you don’t have a girlfriend but I didn’t raise you to be like that and what about children. Not being able to get a phone account in both our names.
It’s big things, like getting heckled, harassed, beaten up. Not getting that job. Being kicked out of home. Not being able to get married or adopt a child. People counting us as less, trying to prove us wrong.
I was in the army reserves for a while, and I kept my mouth shut. I segregated that part of my life from all the rest. I never spoke about my partner, my work, I ducked through the personal pronouns. I avoided the girls and I let the boys down gently. I lied. That’s no basis for friendship. When I finally came clean, my friends were hurt that I hadn’t trusted them.
Of course, it’s not my friends who are the problem. Most people catch on after a while that I’m no different. It’s the jerks who think I’m there for their sexual titillation, that it’s a phase, that I need converting, or that I should be kept away from their kids. They are the problem.
I can understand not coming out. It’s not easy and it’s not always safe. And I know in this big boy’s world of medicine it’s not going to always win me fans.
I just think not taking the risk, not trusting that someone will be there to catch you, not believing that people can love you for who you are… I just think it’s sad. That’s all.
Yesterday was my mother’s birthday, so I called, and we had a virtually normal conversation for thirty-one minutes. Followed by three minutes and forty-seven seconds of infuriating weirdness and a fairly uncomfortable silence.
Until I was seventeen, I thought my mother was this open-minded, accepting, non-judgmental person. Then she decided I was a lesbian, and subjected me to an overnight train trip from Melbourne to Sydney in which she explained at length, no doubt to the delight of the entire carriage, all the reasons why she had not brought me up that way. According to her, her gay male friends were fine, but narcissistic. In her steel-trap mind, lesbianism was not about loving women, but about hating men.
At this point, though she had made her mind up, I had not. Sure, I liked girls. But at seventeen I did not feel the need to rule anything in or out. And I certainly didn’t hate anybody.
Cut to now. I’ve been out’n’proud for nearly eighteen years. It hasn’t all been easy, and at times I’m sure I was a caricature of myself. I did some damage. I got better.
My mother lives with her father and takes in strays. At the moment her project is the daughter of a family friend, who is now working with my grandfather and helping around the house. Or something like that. The three minutes of weirdness started with my mother telling me how this woman had come out to my granddad and how terrible it is that the girl’s mother is uncomfortable with her being a lesbian. Hello? Fuck that. My mother has never been able to look my girlfriend in the eye. She uses me for street cred: my daughter is a lesbian and I’m ever-so-together about that. She needles and she picks and she judges. She wonders why I can’t just find a nice Jewish lawyer and give her some grandkids.
“Tell her about the Glum,” says my granddad in the background. “You tell her,” says my mother, who is trying to bridge the monster gap that has grown between me and the old man these last few years. My skin prickles and I sense that this conversation is not going to build any bridges. The phone is thrust into his hand.
“Oh Hi. Carmen* and I were talking the other day and she said, they shouldn’t call it Gay and Lesbian, they should call it Gay and Glum. Even at the wedding the other day, the lesbians there were all Glum. Aha ha.”
Right. Where am I supposed to go with that exactly? Hate yourself, much?
“I’ll give you back to your mother.” Ok, bye. Whatever.
“So, what do you think GLUM stands for?” she says.
“I have no idea.” All I can think is fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.
“Your dinner must be nearly ready.”
“It is, and I’m starving.”
Silence. Fuck you. The end.
So, Carmen*, whoever you are, I’m sorry that you and your friends are so goddamn glum. I’m not. And that’s probably because I don’t spend a lot of time with people who feed off conflict, negativity, and self-loathing.
This morning there will be a text message on my phone. It will say “Pinch, punch, first of the month. Happy November. Love you xR”. I will delete it as I do every month, and go back to my cordial detente in which I don’t call, don’t reply to emails, and don’t answer the phone when I know it is you. Happy Birthday. Leave me alone. I’m happiest when I forget you exist.