So I'd been aware that a lot of girls in my department at college had gotten engaged around the same time that I had a few months ago. But it wasn't until the past couple of days, with about fifty million discussions of rings and dresses and the one couple who got married this summer already, that I realized exactly how many music majors got engaged to be married right after they graduate. It's a little bit crazy, and a little bit intimidating, but I was so intrigued by the concept of knowing other brides in my age group In Real Life (it's significant enough that it deserves spelling out) that I couldn't help it: I gently pushed my toes into the water…
I offered up my wedding date (a year later than most of theirs) and showed off my ring too (and explained why I don't have a diamond).
Mostly, however, I have not corrected them when they use the preposition “he” to refer to my fiancée.
This is for several reasons…
One, while I've been secure in my orientation for about six years now, it's only been the past year and a half that I got used to coming out to people that I didn't know really well.
Two, as the title mentions, I'm going to school in a medium-sized but very rural-minded Indiana town, which of course in my brain has all sorts of assumptions attached about “those people.”
Three, I'm not just a music major — I'm a music education major, and that second word + GLBT has a high enough chance of inducing screaming that I'm still trying to figure out what my closet status will be in my career, and I've been playing it safe rather than sorry.
The fourth and final reason, and probably the truest, is that I am quite friendly with some of these girls, and really do enjoy hanging out with them, and know them, if not intimately, well enough to know without a doubt that they would be extremely uncomfortable with my orientation for religious reasons. Since I'll only be spending one more semester with them, why rock the boat?
It's an uncomfortable position for me to live in as a bride. It's an uncomfortable position for me to live in as a person.
But I am out to a few people in my department, and since I didn't bind them with a lot of “hush-hush,” apparently the word has gotten around at least a little bit.
One of the friendliest brides, while discussing wedding plans with me and another music major bride while we waited in line to rent bassoons, used the phrase “So your fiancée… what is she majoring in?” Like it was no big thing. No big thing at all.
So even with my female fiancée and my claddagh ring and my bridesmaids in sundresses and Chuck Taylors and her Man of Honor and our Unitarian Universalist officiant… I'm one of those smiling, flocked with admirers, rosy-cheeked college brides after all. And yes, it does feel good.