I’m a critical person. It’s in my nature to perfect things and strive for the best, for myself and others. Tiring, and sometimes I work myself into a frozen state of complete apathy because I’m too critical, but there it is.
There’s one exception to my stern approach to life and people. I make a very conscious choice to not be critical when it comes to other people reacting to my coming out. As it turns out, I’m not very obviously queer. When most people look at me, no gay bells go off for them. That means it’s up to me to decide how, when and if I come out when I meet new people.
Personally, I try to mention my (very very very) gay relationship as soon as it comes up somewhat naturally. I even take a detour in a conversation to make sure people know early on I’m not straight. Why?
Coming out as soon as possible just avoids a bunch of awkwardness. When someone mistakes me for being straight, I have to correct them and that always leads to a lot of unnecessary apologies, which then kills the pleasant conversation we were having.
I’ve come across people that are part of a minority, that seem to take a certain pleasure in calling out someone’s ‘mistake’ for assuming the ‘wrong’ thing about them. For me it’s such a downer to do that. Another person assuming the most mainstream thing is not a mistake to me, everyone has assumptions and I’m just not obviously queer. There’s no shame in that.
So, I take one for the team. I won’t often say that I’m engaged, since that could still be to a guy or a gal. I just say I have a girlfriend, or a wife if I wanna seem more grown-up. That way, it’s obvious and clear and we can talk about something else or have a gay-off. Also, I’m bloody proud to be with Karen and I love to brag about how great she is, so it's a classic win-win for me!