The Pronoun Game

Several months ago I wrote about going back into the closet and how painful that decision was to make. Now I am about to go to an interview for a position that I believe might be a great fit for me and I’ll be playing the Pronoun Game.


I’m sure those of you who are older know this game. Yeah, it’s the one where you don’t exactly share the gender of your partner, lover, spouse, etc. We do things like say, “my spouse works from home so won’t be a problem for us to move.” Or, “we love this area.” The pronoun game never reveals that my spouse is a “she”.


After so many years of casually introducing my wife and never sputtering or thinking a second thought about it, this is particularly painful for me. I suppose folks who don’t understand why it’s such a big deal (the straight world) are probably muttering, “Why are you making such an issue of this?” Or maybe, “They can’t ask you if you’re married, so why offer any details of your personal life?” Finally, the one I really love is, “You don’t look like a lesbian so why should you tell them you are, just let them assume you’re straight.” Arghhhh….shaking my head on that last one, but damned if I’m not contemplating doing exactly that.


You see, the gut-wrenching part of this is that I want to introduce my wife to the people I may start to work for. I’m proud of her. If I play the pronoun game I might get the job, but will I lose myself in the process? Lose who I am? Does this suggest in any way that I’m embarrassed about being married to a woman? Perhaps I should adopt the old military stance. They won’t ask so I won’t tell.


As I write this I am evaluating this conundrum I am in and it’s a really hard decision to make. I’d like to think it won’t make a difference, but I’m a realist. I love rural communities because I can make such a difference to the small hospitals. And yet, rural communities can either be completely welcoming or brutal. Typically they are brutal until they get to know you and then the new person is taken into the fold, like family, regardless of their sexual identity. Late breaking update: I did not share that I’m married to a woman and I was offered the job and took it. I guess I’ll be introducing my wife after I pass the probation period.

new job

The current times are forcing me into decisions I never thought I would have to face again. I suppose this will inspire a whole new crop of coming out stories, even for those of us who came out thirty years ago. There is that…..

new job2

Most of my stories to date don’t have a lot of angst about a person’s sexual identity because that wasn’t really my truth until recently. I suspect that might change in the future but until then I hope you decide to check out my pre-Trump stories. You know the drill, just click the links below….

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4 thoughts on “The Pronoun Game

  1. First and foremost—Congratulations on your new job! Secondly—I am so very sorry that we live in such a world that one can’t be honest to others about ourselves. As you know, I am not gay but totally 100% support your right to love and live the way you choose. I makes me so unhappy that we (as a nation) just can’t live in peace and acceptance of others. To me being straight or gay is about as important as the color of one’s hair! What difference does it make?–NONE! Oh,well, we all have things to work toward. I am trying to convince my family that I want to dye my gray hair—–PINK!!!! No one has agreed with me yet. Damn it!!!!!! Anyway, best of luck to you on your new adventure.


  2. As a retired educator in a rural community (yes, Trump country, no less), I completely understand. I moved here from a large city, so it was a shock to me. But sometimes “ya gotta do, what ya gotta do,” as the saying goes.


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