At the wonderful, and very civil partnership of my dear friends
this week someone revealed that a lesbian friend of hers who was
recently married was asked, "Which one of you is the groom?"
Really? A frantic last minute squirt of dry shampoo, or a little
dab of glue on a false eyelash - that's the closest you get to a
groom at a lesbian wedding.
People love to ask questions like this, because they like to
assign traditional roles, particularly when it comes to weddings.
They want to know who's going to be wearing the dress and who the
trousers - literally and metaphorically speaking. It's as if the
idea of a wedding proceeding without a groom would rip asunder the
natural order of things and chaos would somehow reign: the moon
will turn red, summer will follow winter, and rabbits will suddenly
start eating foxes.
I remember one older relative's baffled response to me coming out
was, "But...who'll do the cooking?" As if the dynamics of a healthy
relationship can be distilled down into who whips up an omelette of
an evening. Is it really that simple? She clearly thought that as
two women we'd argue over who did the cooking. There'd be carnage
in the kitchen. We'd start squaring up to each other with
mezzalunas - vying for control of the cutting boards.
It's amazing that people still think this way. Do they really
think the first thing you do upon entering a lesbian relationship
isn't flip a coin, or each other, to see who'll be the 'guy'
and who'll be the 'girl'. Madness. I prefer to look at
relationships as being made up of two people with complimentary
life skills. There are those that read the maps and those that can
drive the cars. Those that can see painting a room through to
completion, and those who are a crying wreck after one wall. Some
people cook, and others can remove a trapped 30 Rock DVD wihout
electrocuting-themselves. It's less of a gender thing and more of a
survival thing. It's nature's way of keeping the population
So next time I get asked, "Who does the cooking?" I won't cringe
away, or try to make them feel better about asking such an innane
question. Instead I'll face it head on. Look them in the eyes and
say 'We're lesbians. We both cook. But we prefer to eat out'.