My roots are urban, weeds growing in sidewalk cracks, dirty and tenacious.  My queer came into being with politics and history.  I was a kid who witnessed the Stonewall riots holding tight to my father’s hand, queer came to me replete with protests and posters and a strong fight.  My queer came wrapped in a plaid flannel shirt and feminism.  My liberal west village childhood informed me about gay culture before I had informed myself that I was gay.


My culture clashes against hers with the regularity of a clock strike, we are learning to live within the beats of the second hand, understand that our past is not a common one.


I don’t realize at first that the distance from her home to mine is far more than simple mileage.


Her queer came into being quietly and inevitably, in her being with no prefacing on politic, no gloss of liberal trend.  Her gay surrounded her and took her in in a world nearly devoid of those like her.


It would be simple to say ‘closet’, simple to imply some sort of self-righteous superiority, simple, but not correct.  There is no bravery in proclaiming a lesbian identity when living in, and having grown up in, one of the gayest neighborhoods in the country.  The ease with which we urban dykes proclaim means nothing, we are sheltered by our privilege.


Yes, of course there is always danger, we are still marginal, even here, although the margin we live within is wide, we are among our people, protected.  There are crimes committed, there is hatred, we are still ‘other’ but this is other in lower case, wherein other blends with so many words that our safely grows around us.


Suddenly I find myself out here on the ledge, living in this new world, this hetero space  without a safety net.  This space where we do not hold hands on the street, we do not kiss across the table at dinner, we do not…


What does it mean to just be queer, to just be this dyke living in the boonies, neither hiding nor proclaiming identity?


The possibility of outright danger is small, but the small things that dig, the small things that remind are constant.  The patronizing comment from a client that she totally accepts us, that ‘what we do in the bedroom is our own business’


Waking in the dark I wrap myself around her sleeping body, bury my head in her neck, breathe in the beauty she is and I am completed.


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