MicroBlog Monday: Token

You ever walk into a party/gathering and realize you are the only gay person there? Okay, well maybe you were the only white person, the only person of color, the only straight person… but, you know what I mean.

Here in Michigan, I tend to be the only gay person at whatever party or event that I’m at. Today was the third birthday party of the the little girl I nannied for a year. We are all friends and I love watching her and Wallace play together. I realized I was the only non family member there. Then when L got there, I realized I am my friend’s only gay friend. At least I wasn’t the only gay person there anymore!

I’m never sure how to handle these situations. I feel welcomed by my friend and never less than anyone, but I also put up blinders and don’t always see other people’s reactions. I figure as long as there isn’t outward negativity then nothing needs to be done. My presence is enough though I feel like I’m lacking a sense of community for that part of my identity.

About JennP

Single mom by choice, lesbian, natural living, parenting, car free, Chicago.Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a comment!
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12 Responses to MicroBlog Monday: Token

  1. Lindsay says:

    Yeah, I get that feeling every time I go back “home” to Pennsylvania. I am almost always the only gay person at parties or anywhere we go. My little cousin is also gay, and having him at a family BBQ the last time I went home was so nice. Just felt like I wasn’t the only one who was different in the room.

  2. Yep. I feel like my partner and I are the token gay couple, all.the.time. And since we’re friendly(ish) and cut our lawn, our neighbours mostly are nice to us, though we get some weird comments (most recently, I was asked if my wife’s mother is my mother-in-law. And if my dad will be our child’s grandfather. Same day, different askers.) Being the token minority is exhausting, and I would argue it is totally different than being the only non-minority in a room – non-minorities have the rest of the world in which to feel as though they are the norm, and probably aren’t too worried about being judged for being straight or white, whereas many minority-group members are often very aware of potential negative reactions.

  3. My partner has a cousin who recently came out, and I agree – it is so nice to have that solidarity within the family! Especially coming from a reasonably rural area without many other gay folks around.

  4. As long as there is no outward negativity, relax! Think no more cos the host is comfortable by your presence.

  5. I have a gay uncle but he doesn’t count because he doesn’t live out.

  6. Very true difference! I think that is why any sort of cultural pride activities are important for people. It is one time when a minority feels surrounded by like people. And safe.

  7. Exactly why I didn’t give it more than two thoughts while there. Also, who has more time than that while running after a toddler?

  8. At family events on the italian side we are always the only queer people but i’ve honestly stopped noticing it unless it’s an event with other people that don’t know us (which is pretty uncommon). We are also usually the only city people which strangely enough makes me feel like more of an outsider.

  9. I feel like the only queer in town where I live. Big change from Chicago where there was probably multiple queers on my block that wasn’t even that queer of a neighborhood!

  10. Elsie S says:

    (A non-American here, and have no idea how to phrase it so that it does not come across stupid or hurtful, so advance apology if I come across as any of that) Why should your being gay even matter? As long as everyone is having a good time, and the kids enjoy, it’s all good, right?

  11. For me it is no big deal as I have been out for 15 years and am confident in my identity and self. The issue can come from people I don’t know. One of my friends here, I was the first gay person she had a real conversation with. If I were to meet her family at a gathering, I would not be treated well by them. They are very prejudiced. I live in a small town and went to high school here for half a year. It was over ten years ago that people threw pop cans out their car at me but this area hasn’t progressed as bigger cities have. When you are the only one of a minority group, it isn’t always a pleasant experience.

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