You and I had an interesting interaction this week at a local coffee shop.
I was there before work, reading “Stone Butch Blues” for the twentieth time and drinking a hazelnut soy latte. I normally don’t read in coffee shops at 6:30 in the morning, but this particular day I woke up from work stress at 4:00 am and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I was having a pretty bad week at work and thought if I couldn’t sleep I would try to find another way to relax. And in the spirit of trying to feel better about my life, I wore my favorite skirt. I don’t normally wear skirts to work due to the active nature of my job, but this skirt in particular makes me feel fantastic. It is a black and white houndstooth print with sailor patterned pockets. It is pencil cut and hugs my ass. I paired it with a black v-neck (almost too deep for work) sweater, grey tights, and black high healed Mary Janes. My outfit was going to get me through a budget meeting, a huge editing project deadline, and a luncheon. I knew I was looking smashing and was feeling ready to conquer my day when you walked into my world.
I don’t really remember much about you. I know that you were wearing a sweatshirt from the local feminist college. I recall thinking your haircut was identical to Shanes in season three of the “L Word”. You were hipster like and smelled of Old Spice. But, what I remember very clearly is wondering why you were staring at me. I often get recognized from a former job I had working with youth, but the look on your face didn’t read “Hey, I know you from this really awesome place and I am so excited to see you again!”. You walked past me twice, which was odd since I was in a corner by myself and there were plenty of open seats. On the third walk by you stopped and I looked up, you said “It is sad when lesbians have to hide their sexualities behind their skirts.” I replied, “Pardon me?” You repeated yourself “I said, I think it is sad when lesbians have to hide their sexualities behind their skirts. I feel really sorry for you.” And then you walked out of my world.
I should of had a comeback. I should have told you that my skirt was only hiding pink lacy panties I was wearing for my other half for our date after work. Or that a woman wearing a skirt can also be a lesbian. Or that you should be cautious when offending an older femme queer woman with heels on. But, I just said nothing. I was so shocked by how you found the nerve to approach a perfect stranger and make such an outlandish comment.
I hope someday you learn to respect femmes. I hope you realize that one can be gay and wear an item of clothing not made by Carhartt. I hope you know that I love that skirt, it makes me feel super fucking femme and that is how I express my (really fucking queer) sexuality.