I’ve found it interesting being back at an old job, where I used to refer to my genderqueer partner as my husband, but no longer do so, because they prefer the word partner now. Weirdly(?), lots of people continue to ask after my husband, even while I refer to them as partner. But what’s been kind of endearing to me has been the responses of some of newer co-workers, who didn’t know me in my prior tenure at the place.
They definitely think I’m a closet queer deliberately hiding the gender of my partner when I say “partner” and playing the pronoun game when I call them “they”. And on more than one occasion I have had people go out of their way to tell me stories about this or that gay person they know or are friends with or have been reading about, and to make it very clear that they like and support that person, or that they think it’s so sad that this person they were reading about was treated badly for their sexuality, because that’s just terrible, and they just don’t understand why anyone would have a problem with gay people.
They just want to really clear that it’s ok, and it is safe for me to be out to them. But they also don’t want to impose their assumptions on me explicitly or put me on the spot.
And my heart, it just can’t take the adorableness.