Gay? Was it something I didn’t wear? by Heidi Hirsch
I would venture to say that at some point in a gay person’s life they are confronted with the annoying question, “Are you gay?”
That one, I can handle. I usually come back with an inquisitive, “ARE YOU?”
I was recently completely thrown off by a co-worker who exclaimed, “I didn’t know you were gay, you don’t dress like it.”
“Sorry, not enough flannel?”
Not enough flannel??? Was that the best that I could do? I know that it was weak but, honestly, I hadn’t developed a snappy comeback for that kind of comment.
Back before the turn of the century, before I knew that I was gay (didn’t everybody think that Stephanie Powers was hot as April Dancer in the Girl from U.N.C.L.E.?), I was in the throngs of puberty, acne and pursuit of comfortable clothes.
I slowly developed a keen sense of fashion – one size fits all colors. Hey, if it worked in blue, why would it not work in yellow, orange and basic black? My favorite color was jeans. Jeans worked with everything! I thought I was hot and ready for action walking out the door wearing jeans, a white t-shirt and a flannel jacket. Lucky for me, that was perfect attire for a bewildered D.I.T. (Dyke in Training).
There was that brief period of time in my life that I considered the conventional style of dress – meaning a dress! Fortunately, my head cleared and I was able to skirt that near disastrous attempt at femininity with only minor traumatic repercussions.
California is conveniently laid back so I took full advantage of the casual style. I work in an industry that the most brilliant of our creative wear hoodies and cut off shorts. No, I don’t work at Facebook but darn close!
Through the years, I honed my style of dress to reflect California Comfortable. Comfortable jeans, comfortable shirts and, yes, comfortable shoes. If the heels on my shoes is more than one inch, I get a nose bleed and feel slightly dizzy. I consider dressing up by pouring myself into Spanx for a client meeting.
So, here I am confronted with the very real possibility that my membership might be revoked and a representative from the gay community will come knocking on my door and demand my gifted toaster back just because I don’t dress gay!
This called for quick-witted action! Heading back towards the closet, not an easy thing to do,
I looked for my last hope of reversing this gay faux pas and there they were, my hiking boots!
The next day at work, my colleague approached me again with the same confused look on her face.
“Oh. My. God. I have the same pair of boots!!!? Does this mean I’m gay?”
With a click of my one inch heels, I turned like a queen on a disco dance floor and
said, “I don’t know, ARE YOU?”
As an amateur observer of the human race, Heidi is a self -appointed documentarian of life’s little quirks and how to stumble through them with humor.
Maintaining that belief has brought her to that golden age of early-bird specials, senior discounts, and the VIP-AARP card.
When she isn’t acting as the arbiter of lesbian fashion, Heidi is a professional in the themed entertainment industry. As a Project Manager, her projects include the recently opened Motiongate & Bollywood theme parks in Dubai. Currently she is working on a new theme park in an undisclosed location in the Middle East.
Always on the lookout for new adventures, Heidi enjoys building Free Libraries and is currently co-developing an on-line directory for the themed entertainment industry.