On coming out. Every damn day.

They look at me, they look at her, they look back at me. It’s the quickest of glances, the smallest of pauses, and they say “just confirming that’s a double room?”

Yes. It’s a double room.

  

It gets tiring, you know, constantly coming out.

It happens more at the moment, what with the new country & new people & everything.

I knew, before I came out, that it would happen. I mean, I’ve had people do it to me – the assumption of heterosexuality is something I think we’ve all been guilty of at one point or another. But it wasn’t until now, almost two years after coming out myself, that I decided on the right feeling. It doesn’t make me angry, it doesn’t insult me, or make me sad; tired is really the closest I can get.

I’ve been thinking about this as we travelled around Britain, renting hotel rooms, setting up a bank account, getting a room in a flat, meeting recruitment agents, meeting new co-workers. Every time, a little voice just peeps in the back of my heard, a note of caution. But (so far and fingers crossed) everyone’s been … fine. Completely fine. 

But still, the constant tiny little corrections get tiring. Worse is not correcting people. When I do that I’m tired and a little sad.

“My partner’s on a two year visa so we’ll probably head back to New Zealand then.” “Oh okay and what kind of work does he do?”

That was a moment I didn’t correct. I didn’t correct her and we continued the conversation but I had a ball of sadness in the pit of my stomach.  

  

There also seems to be a trend among … allies (oh I do not like that word – I mean people who are down with the spectrums, gender and sexuality etc.) to say that sexuality should be a “who cares” or “need-to-know” kind of thing. 

And while I support the sentiment, I can’t help but feel it’s dismissive of the importance of visibility to gay people. 

It’s great you’re on our side but also um I care that Ellen Page is out, I care that Amber Heard is bisexual, I care that Angel Haze is pansexual. You can care in a positive way.

  

Also, I do truly believe you can’t live as a gay girl, with a girlfriend, renting hotels and hiring hotels and setting up bank accounts, without coming out to people who really don’t need to know about your sexuality. Whether those people care or not. Whether they care in a positive way or a negative way. That’s the risk we run to live our lives openly, to love openly. It’s a risk that’s ultimately worth it.

  

Because sometimes it’s kind of fun. Like getting a question from a new acquaintance, at a bar one Friday night …

“Is he not your type?”

“N… no, she’s more my type” she said, gesturing in my direction.

I grinned as I watched the realisation flit across his face. I wouldn’t change my life for anything.

  

Caveat: I’m very lucky – an educated, white, femme-of-centre lesbian living in a large city. I am swimming in a sea of privilege. I know this.

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So. I have some news.

So. Here’s the thing. I have been going through A Time recently. I think I’m ready to tell you about it now. I wasn’t going to. But then … this website has been part of my life for so long.

Pretty pretty peonies

At the heart of things, I’ve been struggling with this for years. Unfortunately it’s only in the past few months where everything has up and fallen in line, leaving me standing here with my realisation and a big fat “oh.” on my face.

I’m gay. Like… quite gay.

Yea, I know. Believe me, I know. I know. It was a surprise to me too.

I’ve never ever been straight, I knew that, everyone knew that, but I’ve also had Craig since I was 16 so I guess I just never actually got to see which way my heart was headed. He was my best friend, he still is my best friend, and for 13 years that was … almost enough.

Earlier this year I was going through a ‘bad brain’ time and all of a sudden thought “well, maybe I’m gay” and then everything over the past two, maybe three years fell into line and I saw exactly the path that lead me here.

I would give pretty much anything to have realised this at 18, or 22, or 28. But also not. I don’t regret the time I’ve had with Craig. Not even a little bit. I loved him, I still do love him. He has been, and will remain, one of the most important parts of my life. He is one of the absolute best people I know.

But yes, Craig and I are separating.

When I told Craig he held my hand while I talked and held my head when I cried and was the most supportive person you can imagine.

It’s been the strangest few weeks. First there was talking with my counsellor, then there was telling Craig, then our families, our friends. And then after that comes the internet.

My mother’s immediate & panicky response to hearing that I have news was “What‽ I’m not prepared for news!”

But, you know, not one single person, upon hearing ‘the news’, has been anything other than amazing and supportive. To me and to Craig. We have an astounding group of people in my life and I am entirely thankful for all of them.

Craig and I are not rushing anything. He is still one of the most important people in my life and I hate that any of this has hurt him. We are moving forward together as friends and I am always trying to be mindful of and kind to him. And vice versa.

I used to think I was just a deeply unhappy person. It turns out that I was just doing a pretty good job of lying to myself. Being true to who I am has been such a weight off my shoulders.

I’m not lying to myself anymore.

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Coming Out for Marriage Equality

So here’s the thing. I avoid talking about politics.
Partly because of where I work, partly because I don’t care how other people vote, partly because I’ve voted differently in every single election for which I’ve been eligible. This is not about politics in general or individual parties or an election.
This is about one bill. This is about standing up.

Today the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill was drawn from the ballot. It will, eventually, be debated in the House.
To quote from the Bill itself “This Bill will make it clear that a marriage is a union of 2 people regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. It will ensure that all people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity will have the opportunity to marry if they so choose.”

I support marriage equality. I am married. I am also bisexual*.

For the past 8 years New Zealand has had the Civil Union Act which has allowed same sex couples to legally recognise their unions. That the State will allow them to get ever-so close to marriage equality and still deny it. To say ‘yes, of course you’re equal … almost’. To say ‘we support your right to everything but’.
That was fine. As a first step. After eight years the next step is overdue.

I’m not coming out because I feel like that validates my support of marriage equality. I think my being a rational human being does that. I’m coming out because, maybe, you didn’t know. Because maybe you assumed that a sexuality slightly off normal would be visible in some way. Because I’m happy to stand up and be counted.
My husband and I support marriage equality.

And, damn it, if everything falls apart with Craig, and the next person I fall for is a woman? I would hate that I couldn’t marry her too.

Palazzo Vecchio2

* always have been, probably always will be, it’s not a big deal.

Theoretical Physics and Modern Art.

A physicist at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva – the world’s biggest scientific experiment! – speculate that the failure of the collider because of a helium leak soon after it was switched on in September was caused by intervention (ripples!) from the future to stop the experiment happening.

(Kevin Black’s speculation is here and it makes my head hurt but Poneke sums it up thusly: given its complexity I won’t go into the details, but in brief, and quoting other research he was initially sceptical of, he suggests that the expected creation by the LHC of the fabled Higg’s Boson[*] might have created the possibility of Higg’s Bosons from the future coming back to 2008 to stop the creation of multiple Higg’s Bosons upsetting the universe by being created by the LHC.

And as in Back to the Future, this is the paradox that if you could go back in time and while doing so killed your grandfather (or stopped your father meeting your mother), you would cease to exist because you would not be capable of being born.

The LHC is intended to prove whether or not the Higgs Boson exists. What Kevin Black is postulating is that the Higgs Boson may indeed exist, but has come from the future to stop the smarties at CERN finding it, for reasons best known to itself. Although I would also like to know!

Via Poneke’s Weblog.

What? You didn’t know that I love theoretical physics & thought experiments?
You learn something new every day.**

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This orange building the Netherlands is called the Habog Facility and it contains nuclear waste material that they have to store for 100 years while it loses its toxicity, is covered in physics formulas by Einstein and Planck.
Every twenty years, the building will be repainted in a lighter color to symbolize the slowly decaying radiation in the waste.

William Verstraeten, the artist who designed the facility, views his piece as a commentary on metaphorphosis. Open for tours, the building also contains four symbolic paintings. And I WANT TO GO THERE!

* I heart the Higgs Boson! although my mother insisted on likening it to an angel. It is theoretically the most fundamental particle of matter and is what gives atoms mass and gravity. But its existence is totally theoretical. Of course.

**My baby pet favourite theories? Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and Schrödinger’s Cat.

I am miniature. People find this Hilarious.

Disclaimer: I am (in my opinion) just a regular small-sized person. Others would beg to differ. There is nothing (as far as we know) medically causing my lack of … size, but my mother did smoke while she was pregnant.

This weekend my mother found my diminutive stature frankly, hilarious.
I was sitting in the drivers seat (ssh. more on this later) and I said
Sarah : So, you just push the pedals with your toes then?
Mum : Uh, yea, the balls of your feet.
Sarah : Oh. So your feet are just meant to hang there?
Mum : No, you push the pedals.
Sarah : It’s awkward to do that with my toes
Mum : No, the balls of your feet!
Sarah : The balls of my feet don’t reach the pedals if my feet are touching the floor of the car!

And every single time she got behind the wheel to reverse or turn us around or steer us around a very solid parked car she looked in the rearview mirror at my other sister (also learning to drive. But she’s 15, and much taller than I) and collapse into laughter.
After seeing this I knew that Craig and I would never be able to share a car, he already complains about his new midget driving position when my mother moves the seat. I don’t think he’ll even be able to get into the car after I’ve used it!
Which might actually be kind of fun in an Oh godDAMN it Sarah! kind of way.

Oddly enough, I too found it difficult to get out of the car when the seat was pushed up against the steering column.
I guess 5″1 is really that short after all.

This really means that something monumental is happening.
I AM LEARNING TO DRIVE!
After 7 years of conscientious objection I am finally giving in and learning to drive.
More than that! (which is seriously, huge enough news as it is) I am doing so not to settle a score, or to prove my (darling)husband wrong but just because.
Ok. Fine. Not just because but because of an undesirable comparison to someone else who shall not be named (Voldemort!?) who also cannot drive.

My first lesson was this past saturday and when I returned home I found Craig out in the garage and burbled wildly
Sarah : Hey baby, I drove!
Craig : Yea?
Sarah : Yea! I didn’t cry or crash or anything. And I went into second gear and turned in a circle!!
Craig : Well done.
He’s just glad I haven’t been scared off … yet.

NB: I also have short grandmothers. So it’s Genetics vs Cigarettes and I think it’s Genetics for the win