I’ve been with my girlfriend for over two months now and I’ve never been happier in a relationship. But one thing I have noticed is the reluctance of people to refer to her as my girlfriend and vice versa. My family and friends are incredibly accepting of me and are thrilled that I have a lovely girlfriend, however confirming that I’m in a gay relationship by stating I have a girlfriend seems to be a difficult task for some people, as if there’s a stigma around the word. Many people now have accepted that love has no gender, so what’s really that scary about acknowledging a same sex relationship?
There always seems to be some confusion when people find out a have a girlfriend, it’s often received with misunderstanding, thinking I’m just referring to a female friend. This is a completely forgivable mistake, however me and my girlfriend both know individuals who simply refer to us as friends, even if we’ve explicitly stated that we’re in a relationship. I’m unsure if this is because these people genuinely believe we are just very close friends, or if it is a refusal to acknowledge the relationship, or maybe even embarrassment to admit that they’re associated with LGBT+ individuals. Well first off I can clarify that yes, she is my best friend, but we are in a relationship. I am attracted to her regardless of the fact that she’s a girl, and us holding hands is not just a display of ‘friendship’. And secondly, why anyone would refuse to acknowledge a relationship of any kind is beyond me. It may be a shock to some people to find out I’m gay, but this doesn’t mean that my sexuality is invalid- just because you don’t agree with something it doesn’t mean you can overlook it. And ultimately, if you’re ashamed to admit that you’re associated with LGBT+ individuals or a same sex couple then you need to question if you’re still living by outdated, homophobic views. Whatever the reason is for not being able to say ‘girlfriend’, even if it is just something that takes time to adjust to, is not nearly as important as the fact that we are in a same sex relationship whether society agrees with it or not.
However, I must confess that I have also been unable to refer to her as my ‘girlfriend’ at one point. When asking for a couple of days off work to spend time with my girlfriend for her 18th birthday, my boss innocently asked what I was going to be doing, asking if I was going anywhere nice. Inadvertently, I said I was visiting a distant friend for her birthday, and afterwards I was left wondering why I lied. Obviously I don’t know my boss’s views on homosexuality, but there’s something so nerve wracking about openly discussing your sexuality in the workplace. Being afraid of prejudice is natural when you’re a minority, it shouldn’t be that way, but it is natural, and the fear is even worse when you could potentially lose your job, your livelihood, just for admitting your sexuality to your boss. It’s horrific that things like that could potentially happen, but unfortunately it’s not all that uncommon. After questioning why I lied for a while I realized that I was afraid of discrimination, but then at the same time, I genuinely wouldn’t want to work for a manager with homophobic views. I think the only way to get past homophobia is to fight against it and if that ultimately meant losing a job, or a friend, or at worst a family member, then so be it.
Because I love my girlfriend more than I’d love any boy. And if anyone has a problem with it and refuses to acknowledge her as my girlfriend, then that’s their issue and not mine. It doesn’t make our relationship any less valid.
Please visit my girlfriend Anezka’s blog here: https://anezkaweb.wordpress.com/