Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Are you implying that I might or might not be gay?
Now, this is basically a follow up on my earlier post and the use of "partner" (which I used to avoid typing out and specifying boyfriend or girlfriend) and my dislike for that word.
First of all, one reason I dislike it is because unlike the word "lover", "partner" gives some strange cowboy or police detective vibes, of a couple working together to herd cattle or catch crooks and not that of a couple in love.
There has been a number of times when I have been asked by English speaking foreigners something in the vein of "so what does your partner do?" which in my ears is a slight implication that I might or might not be gay and they don't want to take any risks in guessing whether it's a girl or a boy I am with. I feel that this is a pretty cowardly way of avoiding a potentially mildly embarrasing situation in case the target would reply with a "in fact I'm gay".
My former, openly gay boss was often asked at official events with potential customers here in Japan whether he was married or not, open as he was with his homosexuality I think he always dodged that bullet since being officially a gay man could limit business opportunities from Japanese individuals...