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It’s All Semantics Anyway

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A question that has popped up for me many times over the past year and a half or so is how to skirt the term “boyfriend” when referring to the man I live with. I’m wildly uncomfortable with that particular adjective because it seems absolutely juvenile coming from someone who’s nearly 40 years old.

I always struggle when I’m asked for a short bio to accompany things that I’ve written for publication. I suppose I could just sew the phrases “living in the Tampa area” and “mother of three” into some form of a sentence but acknowledging Jeff’s existence in my life is important to me.

I was recently hired to author a niche blog that includes an entire page of information about me and the best I could come up with was “…living in Florida with my partner and three young sons.” Someone who knows me suggested that I reconsider the term “partner” since it implies that I am gay. I responded that I know how it sounds but it doesn’t concern me in the slightest if people think that to be the case. Besides, I can’t think of another way to reference the most important adult relationship in my life. If the terminology can be interpreted in more than one way, so be it.

I had to laugh when I got to my desk this morning to find not one, but two, emails from readers inquring about my sexual orientation. I’m no stranger to reader interaction but such straightforwardness really surprised me. How very bizarre. “Read the blog!” I wanted to shout. “Who cares if I like men, women, anime or blow up dolls?!” I mentioned this to a friend of mine a short while ago and she suggested the possibility that some readers might be so offended by the idea of reading a site authored by a “queer” that they might not return.

Ah, yes. I’d forgotten that this is America, the land of the free. This is the country that encourages us to live as we please as long as it fits within the Moral Majority’s narrowminded standards of acceptance. I had forgotten to account for the fact that while this niche blog has nothing to do with sexuality, religion or social issues, some people might be afraid to read words written by a gay writer. Their eyeballs might fall out or something.

I believe so strongly in the concept of “Live and Let Live” I’m considering getting it tatooed across my posterior so self righteous people have something to read while they kiss my ass. I would never begrudge a person their right to an opinion (Lord knows I’m as opinionated as a person can get). I’ve never understood, however, why people care so much about the way others think or will waste precious energy to try and change someone’s mind over a topic on which they disagree. I understand that politics, religion and sexual orientation are lightning rods for “spirted” discussions between people but I will be forever mystified that so many are unable to tolerate the personal beliefs of others. Who cares what other people do in their personal lives or think in the privacy of their own minds? Yes, I may be nearing 40 but I still have the occasional Pollyanna questions of a naive nineteen year old.

So I’ll go back to the drawing board to rewrite the bio. Since I’m working for someone else, I think complete neutrality is in the site’s best interest. If this was my personal blog we were talking about, you can bet I would say I prefer bi-racial transexual Pagans.

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About Lisa

  • http://www.magicjunk.com/blog/ Mark Sahm

    How about you say, “living in Florida with my man-servant and our 3 gorgeous genius sons.” That way, it sounds like a joke… leaving you in the clear. That is, as long as he has a sense of humor.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    There are a number of clever-ish ways to do it: best fella, live-in man, etc.

  • Chevy Chevalier

    Add one word to your statement. “I live in Florida with my partner, Jeff (or whatever his name is), and my 3 wonderful genius children” … or the like. Brits have been using “Partner” for the equivalent to boyfriend/girlfriend for years.