[edit: I should have titled this “My Apperceived Bisexuality Bias” instead. Too late now, I pinged everybody, but I just can’t stand leaving my mistakes uncorrected.]
I had a peculiar encounter at the gym this afternoon. I was sitting in the steam room, eyes demurely downcast when a woman sat down across from me and addressed me directly.
“Are you the lesbian everybody’s talking about?”
I was surprised, but just relaxed enough not to let it show on my face. I hadn’t known I was The Lesbian of my local gym. In fact, there’re a few there, and I wondered why she’d single me out as the one. I regarded her solemnly, a trifle coldly; my eyes roving down her body insultingly before capturing her gaze. I wanted this to stick.
“No,” I assured her. “I’m the other one.”
I wasn’t in the mood for any idiotic nonsense from a complete stranger. All that I’d wanted to do was melt into the wood of my bench after my token workout. I did not want to verbally fence with yet another person on a mission to convert the dissident, who didn’t even have an ounce of civility. Go away, I willed her mentally. This is not the droid you’re looking for.
She surprised me again when she laughed and said, “Good!” It wasn’t the nervous giggle I almost invariably get when another woman discovers my sexuality, nor the false-hearty rejoinder that loosely translates to “I’m not homophobic!” For once, I wasn’t frustrated that my Jedi mind trick hadn’t worked. (It never does, and I never fail to feel a pang of disappointment.) This woman definitely gave me the impression that she was interested in me, if not sexually, at least as a real person. While it doesn’t bother me much anymore that I don’t always get that consideration, I can definitely appreciate the fact when I do get it.
The woman and I chatted amiably enough, and I was glad that I hadn’t insulted her the way I’d intended to. I did apologize for being so off-putting, and mentioned that I was relieved to see that I hadn’t made her uncomfortable. She assured me that I didn’t give off any “vibes” that would have. Maybe it was synchronicity at work, so shortly after having posted a fantasy—and the dilemma it posed; I’ve kept to my resolve and reminded myself scrupulously to not objectify anyone—or rather, not let them get a glimmer of what I’m fantasizing about. That might have been what saved me from missing a chance to make a new, pleasant acquaintance.
Thank goodness for self-awareness.